I just returned from a “foodie” nutrition conference in Dublin. It was fantastic! But what surprised me the most was how many nutrition professionals did not try the foods of this amazing culture. The history of this country and many other countries leads to the current eating habits of the country. I met people that are so very proud of how they grow, prepare and feed their families. Cheese makers, farmers, butchers and chefs are skilled at what they know best and I love when I feel that passion in their food. I tried organic Irish cheeses, hot and cold smoked salmon from the sea that surrounds the country, garlic that was picked one morning and prepared in a garlic, leek and potato soup the same day. I also tried pheasant for the first time that was raised on a farm locally and the chef knew the butcher that provided the meat. You know that the pheasant was prepared with passion and it was very tender and rich with flavor. Not everyone tried the pheasant. I left the conference wondering why adults are afraid to try new foods: is it because they are afraid they won’t like it? Don’t eat meat? Think it will make them sick? Maybe. All I know is that every food in the world has a different nutrient profile…just like each person has their unique personality. And if we continue to eat the same foods day and day out, we may be depriving our body’s nutrients and the pleasure of a new taste sensation. Keep in mind that tasting a new food does not mean a pound of it has to be consumed! The pheasant I ate was ~2 ounces or the size of 2 lipsticks. The salmon I tasted was 1 ounce each. It is more important to experience foods in different countries or in your local grocery store or farmer’s market. If Americans continue to eat the same limited diet of breaded chicken, fried potatoes, soda, sweet cereal, white bread and ice cream, what will the future of American’s health be like?
All I am saying is: smell, taste, feel the texture and swallow foods that you have never tried: vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein foods….not the new flavor of corn chips! Real food, grown on land. You never know…you just might like it.