Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Things We Know for Sure - Part 2

I'm reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, and am once again reminded that I shouldn't assume "different" equals "wrong." For years I've been griping about the amount of animal fat and whole fat dairy products present in this region's cuisine, waxing poetic about the availability of low-fat everything in Toronto's supermarkets.

But Pollan's overview of the history of "Nutritionism" pointed out how many times experts have proclaimed a certain food or nutrient as healthful, only to later discover it caused cancer or heart disease. His examples of margarine and the first baby formulas shocked me, but what really hit home was when he described the way olive oil drizzled over tomatoes may very well help in the body's absorption of one nutrient or another, and that incidents of cardiac arrest increased in America after people stopped rendering their own animal fat and switched to hydrogenated vegetable oils.

So I am now going to feel less anxious whenever my mother-in-law adds kuyruk yağı, the infamous fat from a sheep's tail, to her sarma and am resolved to enjoy the whole fat milk delivered fresh to her door -- I will simply enjoy less of it!

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