Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Speeding Up the Slow Food Movement

For years now I've been pondering over why it's so easy in America to obtain cheap & unhealthy food? And why we're obsessed with thinking that this IS what good food is. I know, I'm guilty of the gluttony too...which is how I found out about Slow Food International. It's a movement which focuses on using food close to the source to create a variety of cuisines and flavors that are healthy, delicious and fresh. They organize farmers markets, dinners and events worldwide....but I think we need more.

Sure it's fun to getogether with others who understand why you want to eat wholesome food that actually tastes good, but why can't we start a healthy fast food movement with no excuses?

Just follow me here through some scenarios that takes today's transfatty-saturated-preseravative options and replaces them with those of a healthy culture:

Unhealthy: "I was sooooo hungover, that I NEEDED those Rally's chili cheese fries."
Solution: What's so wrong with having some baked potato fries and topping it with a fresh low-part skim cheese and a fresh black bean and turkey chili? It's just as comforting, maybe a little more time to prepare but not much, and will absolutely save your life in your post-party state.

Unhealthy: "I had to rush to a meeting, so I grabbed a Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch"
Solution: First of all, I wouldn't want to be meeting with you after your run to the border....but I've had mexican fare that tastes much better than Taco Bell and most Mexican fare is simple to prep and definitely won't break the bank.

There are restaurants that have made some progress after Jared started eatin' fresh at Subway...

  • Ziggy's Healthy Grill in Houston had the idea right, but recently decided to replace their quick counter service with a less-than satisfactory table service. Bad move Ziggys...
  • Ruggles Green, also in Houston, cooks up an organic menu with gluten-free options. Some menu items are healthy, but others are just as high calorie as anywhere you have to be cautious of your choices. Great concept with delicious food, but it's slow and overpriced.
  • My Fit Foods is definitely on to something with their dietician-approved freshly prepared meals. The prices aren't too bad, the staff is knowledgeable, the food is amazingly flavorful and filling, and the preps are quick.
  • New Orleans' own Naked Pizza has received rave reviews on Yelp for their yummy pies. They are use whole grain crust and fresh toppings with no preservatives. Even the skeptics seem to enjoy it. They're looking to franchise nationwide...good luck guys.

I just think it would be so simple to have a drive through healthy fast food option with baked items, healthy sandwiches, veggies and fruits instead of what we are currently harming ourselves with. What is it about knowing that something is so bad for you that makes you want it more? I guess just the feeling of rebellion....but if you could replace it with something that won't put you in a post-meal coma for the same speed and price....would you do it?

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