Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nourishing the Body Isn't Rocket Science

What a brilliant statement recently by Sam Kass, assistant head chef at the White House:

“Cooking for people’s pleasure is obviously a nice thing to do, but the No. 1 reason we eat is to nourish ourselves and take care of ourselves.”

Kass couldn’t have framed it better. That’s why we cook and why we eat ~ a refreshing shift from the palate to the rest of the body.

I read his interview in the NY Times recently. It turns out he’s quite the activist. He and Michelle Obama are focusing on the increasing problem of childhood obesity, and Kass plays an important role in her healthy living agenda.

His main job, though, is cooking for the Obama family. The head chef attends to the formal banquets.

As Kass put it, “You look around our country and you see that we have a lot of major challenges, the origin of which is food.”

However, a former White House chef offered this criticism: “Let’s remember: the guy’s a cook. There are people who are much more qualified to talk about nutrition than cooks.”

I disagree totally.

Eating well is far simpler and easier than most people think. Just like that problem of not seeing the forest for the trees, often people can’t see good nutrition for all the boxes, bags and jars of stuff that’s not good, crowding their refrigerators, cupboards and counter tops.

A start would be to do a purge of all the white or processed foods. It’s amazing how that alone clears the playing field of what you have to work with.

You can build better choices from there!


Sheri said...

I have a friend who will do a "Kitchen Clean-out" where she comes in and rids your pantry, cupboards and fridge of any of the processed stuff you mentioned before. You are left with a "clean slate."

You are right. Cooks do know a lot about food (they better) and they have control over the healthy (or non-healthy) ingredients that go into their recipes.

Anonymous said...

The chef's comment about eating to nourish and take care of ourselves reminds me of a statement made by a friend's mother. She said that she raised a family on a limited budget and that "we didn't think so much about how food tasted. We just ate to get full." She had no clue that you could "get full" eating grains and beans rather than biscuits from the can and on-sale hotdogs. IF our commander-in-chief's chef can break through that mentality he will have played a very good role in this administration.