I am reading (actually, listening to) Michael Pollan’s new book, Cooked. Am I enjoying it? Well, yes and no. “Yes,” to the expanding of my foodview (I think this is a new word I’ve invented but not yet patented…so use it without charge) but “no” to my vegan commitment. Halfway through the book I have learned so much about what it means to actually cook my own food.
We do a lot of cooking around my house. My wife is a gourmet-quality cook. She loves to make tried and true recipes and to try new recipes. Alas, she is in poor health and I have taken over a lot of culinary responsibilities. So, I was very interested in what one of my favorite authors had to say about the subject. As with all Mr. Pollan’s books, I am enlightened, inspired and encouraged to keep the culinary faith.
I became a vegan after doing a lot of research about what clogs up the circulatory system of Americans. (You may know that heart attacks are the leading cause of death for those who eat the American way.) I found that I have a lot of plaque in my veins and arteries and decided to look into ways to reverse the condition. That led me to begin eating a no-fat (or very low fat) plant-based diet. It is satisfying, inexpensive and delicious. But, you see, I am a convert to this way of eating from the vein and artery-clogging omnivorous way I have eaten for decades. That means that my mouth still waters at visions of various forms of meat. I am eating the no-fat plant-based way for health reasons only.
If you fall into my category, it means you retain strong memories of succulent sausages, bacon, steaks, barbeque ribs, lamb chops, roasts, etc. After listening to the first part of Mr. Pollan’s book, I wanted nothing more than to find a whole-hog barbecue joint and chow-down. I wanted to find me some good Texas brisket or cabrito and, fat dripping from my chin, enter into a kind of carnivore nirvana. Be warned: Michael, a committed omnivore, will make you think twice about, well…sinning.
I am happy to report that I have righteously remained vegan…so far. One day at a time. We all have to die of something but I would like to be as healthy as possible and then, when my time comes peacefully, painlessly drop dead. At my age, departure is not too far off and I could say I prefer to leave this life with fried chicken in stomach. But, since I am already noticing some benefits of veganism, I think I will continue with the oats, peas, beans and barley…etc.
My garden will help. In spite of the funky weather and bad knees, I am steadily getting things planted. I look forward to harvesting baskets of summer fruit.