Friday, May 14, 2010

The need for real food, underscored.

I'm in L.A. for three weeks, doing film work. One thing about working on set is the 14-hour days (often longer), plus the commute each way in L.A. traffic (and we're staying in the South Bay, across town from everything), and the set food. Urrp. That set food...

Catering and craft service on a film set are designed to keep people as full as possible for as cheaply as possible. There's nothing wrong with this, except that the people involved are often not actually invested in food or cooking, so they often rely on prepackaged ingredients to assemble for the crew. After a week of returning to an on-set diet after a full year of cooking my own, I've noticed headaches, sluggishness, and skin problems. We've both noticed our sense of general well-being is not what it is when we cook food from natural, organic ingredients. Add to that the fact that even the water in L.A. is loaded with toxins and poisons - your choices are filthy, foul-tasting tap water or water that has sat in a plastic bottle leaching chemicals - and it's no wonder health problems are so rampant in this town.

Another interesting thing I noticed: A lunch based on white flour and non-organic, nutritionally deficient ingredients leads to relentless snacking all day. The body craves all the nutrients it didn't get with the meal, so you wind up stopping by the craft service table every time you walk past it and grabbing whatever you can. But that's more junk food, so by the end of the day you've consumed thousands of calories and you still haven't been nourished. This is why we, as a society, are fat.

The sad thing is that most people living on a packaged diet are completely unaware of the trouble it causes. Keith and I lived this way for years and never noticed, but once we moved to Oregon and started cooking real food with real organic ingredients, Keith noticed he didn't feel good whenever he went back to set work. Now I'm here and I can definitely confirm it.

I'm not complaining about the food on this one particular show, you understand. This is an industry-wide problem that merely reflects our national misconceptions about food. Too often we assume that assembling packaged products is a fine substitute for cooking, and the end result is just as good as food. Experience shows that it most decidedly isn't.

Imagine the things we could accomplish with a well-nourished society! One thing's for sure, we'd probably spend a lot less on healthcare. It even makes you wonder if the crime rate would drop when people felt better. We'll never know unless we try, but it's going to have to happen one home at a time. If you're eating with labels every day, try cutting it out for awhile and see how much more alive you feel.

And then send me some of that nourishing, organic, real-live FOOD. I miss it.

1 comment:

  1. Yup, overfed and undernourished, the Standard American Diet.

    The funny thing is, given the nature of many celebrity diets (at least as reported) I always assumed craft services was full of good, fresh food from Real Food Daily or the Zone's delivery meals or somesuch. Foolish me!

    Suddenly I'm in the mood to watch Entourage - my guiltiest pleasure.