A week or so ago, I read “Food as Religion” over at Arduous Blog. I always appreciate Ruchi’s thought-provoking posts, but this time I also really, really, really appreciated the comments on the post.
I, myself, am a Pollanite (although I probably eat less meat than he does... and definitely wouldn't get caught buying Froot Loops)….
— Thistle (of Sleeping Naked is Green)
What? There has to be a story behind this?
To be fair to His Pollanness, I believe he was buying Froot Loops for his notoriously picky eater son- I'm not sure anything makes you compromise your food ideals like an obstinate child. ;)I wasted about an hour searching for verification for this potentially libelous Froot Loop accusation, but I didn’t find anything about Froot Loops, per se.
However, I did find hope. Beautiful, soul-filling hope. In the form of interviews where Pollan talked about his son’s picky eating habits.
Excerpts from “Michael Pollan, Garden Fresh,” an interview by David Beers in The Tyee. Comments are Pollan quotes:
"My 16-year-old son Isaac has been a very complex, tortuous food story. He was a terrible eater. One of the reasons I got interested in writing about food is he didn't eat anything. I love food, my wife loves food, and he just was tortured about food. He was one of these kids -- and there are many of them -- who only ate white food. He ate bread, pasta, rice, potatoes. There are a lot more of these kids than there used to be. I'm not exactly sure why.Pollan comments that gardening also helps expand kids’ willingness to try new foods. We’ve seen this in our home, because my son will eat a few green beans when he’s helped pick and snap them. But as soon as the summer’s over, and the beans wither, he’s done. He eats nothing green 9 months out of the year. No frozen green beans, no canned green beans. Nothing.
"But he basically found food scary and overwhelming….
"A very interesting turnaround happened about two years ago. He discovered food. He became very serious about it, partly through cooking."
To be honest, I have been struggling with my gardening plans this year. I enjoyed last year’s garden — especially my first square-foot garden — but I didn't really have time to weed and care for the the regular tilled-ground garden. And don’t have the money to build more than one additional square-foot garden this year. So I was thinking I’d scale back.
But with the renewed hope that my kiddo will try new foods, I’ve renewed my determination to grow more than I did last year! And I’m going to choose more foods that said kid can eat right off the vine. (He likes green beans raw, but I’ve read too many can be harmful, so I won’t let him eat but one or two.)
However, I must admit that I’m a bit of a picky eater, too. And this will only be my third year of gardening. So I’m still overwhelmed and would love suggestions for foods that can be eaten right off the vine.
We have blueberries and strawberries that he might try this year. I’ll plant more watermelon, which he ate one time last year. He’ll eat carrots — and I learned that I need to plant carrots very early since they did not do well in the heat last year.
What else can we plant that can be eaten straight off the vine? Someone tell me about the sugar snap peas, which I’ve read can be eaten raw. I'll try anything that has a crunchy texture. Ideas? Inspiration?
(Also, I loved all the suggestions for "Gardening with a Toddler" last week, and I've borrowed Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots from the library to make the garden more kid-friendly. Thanks for the inspiration.)