Frenchy Ways to Eat for Pleasure and Good Health:Be Demanding
The imagine of French people around the world is not always positive. Les grèves, or strikes seem to be a part of the French culture. When I first moved to France and experienced these French strikes it was quite annoying. No mail delivery, no garbage pick-up, schools basically closed, trains cancelled or off schedule. Now after 9 years of living here these strikes are still annoying, but with cultural understanding comes a feeling of cultural acceptance. In fact, strikes are part of the French culture because the French are very demanding. In order to get their requests listened to or accepted sometimes they have to strike. At the least they complain, “ils râlent” (complain forcefully). They ask for a lot and if they get halfway that is success. But they always ask. Back to food though. Yes, the French are also demanding with their food they buy and eat. And why shouldn’t we be demanding with our food? Can we agree that food is just as important as working conditions and start of retirement age? (Two other issues on which French people tend to strike). Why not be a polite “râleur“? Why not be like Les Français and BE DEMANDING! How? By questioning yourself before buying and eating food. French ways to eat for pleasure and good health includes being demanding because we strive towards the highest quality foods and dishes available in our budget direct to our stomach. Being self demanding with our eating plan is the tenth way on the list of ways to eat for pleasure and good health.
How can we be demanding?
We can be demanding by gently pushing for more: more freshness, better food safety, more produce with less pesticides, healthier school lunch menus, more foods without additives. We can be demanding in ourselves by: cooking more, using less convenience foods, growing gardens, supporting local markets. AND…how else? You tell me! Here’s a list to start and is not exhaustive:
- use more fresh foods in your diet, ideally from the local market or producer
- put pressure on big food manufacturers to make sure your food you eat is safe
- when financially feasible, support organic food growers especially those who are local
- if your child eats in the school lunch program, form a partnership with your child’s school and help to support efforts in the school lunch program to offer nutritious meals to all children. See a previous article on this site on how to do this here
- Be an expert in reading food labels, buy foods that are lower in sugar and added ingredients such as artificial flavors and colors
- Plan weekly or bi-weekly menus at home and cook more, eat out less, involve your children in food preparation
- Grow a garden if you have the space, even a small herb garden in a big pot is a way to have a fresh look to meals
- Whenever possible, support local food growers, non organic or organic
Finally, as you choose your foods, look for quality. If you buy some of your food at local markets ask the producers about their farms. What type of pest control do they use? When was the produce picked? How did they make the final product? When choosing fish and seafood insure that the food is fresh and has been kept at the right temperature. Fresh fish and seafood shouldn’t smell like strong fish. Ask where the fish has been caught. Do the same for meats. At nice restaurants involve the server by asking where the food is from. How demanding should you be? Whatever level makes you comfortable and still be polite without going on strike! What areas are YOU demanding? Do you agree that we should push ourselves and others enjoying higher quality and better food? Let me know by commenting below. Until next time Bon Appetit…