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Food, Glorious Food! or, the French Paradox

Friday, February 01, 2013

I was fascinated by the movie Julie and Julia,

about the woman who made it a project to cook everything in Julia Child's book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in a year.

A delicious movie with mouth watering adventures and misadventures in cooking.

And, it raises the question many have asked. French cooking is so rich, full of tasty sauces and dishes,

And yet, one rarely saw a fat Frenchman. Obesity, and its accompanying maladies of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and many other effects were rare.

But why?

One book, The End of Overeating, gives a plausible explanation.

It is the way the approached food. Even Julia Child,

advocated moderation in eating her recipes. The key is in several places. One is the portions. The portions in French dishes, as rich as they are, are small compared to American food.

Compare this with the insanely big servings we do, and there's no comparison.

Food is considered an art form,

prepared lovingly, like in one of my favorite movies, Ratatouille.

And it is meant to be savored, tasting the nuances of the food,

And not to be wolfed down like we do.

So savor the food, actually taste it!

And see it for the art that it is.

Also, in between meal snacking was unheard of. In the great restaurants of Paris,

you couldn't find one open all the time,

like we do in Denny's,

the availability of insane portions of food were nonexistent, and so was obesity.

Until recently, with the inroads of American places like McDonald's,

Pizza Hut,

and KFC.

It was at first just for the tourists, but it is catching on, to the detriment of us all.

But let's turn back the clock.

Learn to enjoy good food again,

and enjoy the art of good food.

The amazing presentations,

and enjoy healthy eating,

And we all win!

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