What’s for dinner? Eat this!

Recently, we were looking around Bellingham, WA for a good restaurant. We had some staples, like D’Anna’s café Italiano (with its fresh pasta, and Sicilian-themed fare), and new ones, like Storia Cucina (with clearly-sourced ingredients, house-prepared and -cooked—all tasty, which is important). In fact, when I developed the acronym for FoodWISE, “W-Whole, Informed, Sustainable, Experienced,” I had thought of adding “T” for tasty—“WISEST,” with the second “S” standing for “Seasonal.” And that’s just it, when eating out, we have to consider Taste, sometimes above all else, since most restaurants don’t have a Food “WISE” practice. But even on the taste front, we have been disappointed. Spicy food too salty, vegetables overcooked and over-oiled, yeasted breads soggy with butter.

As I write in FoodWISE, about favorite foods and tastes,

For me, these include crisp beans, fresh eggs, and wild-caught meat—all part of the FoodWISE experience. Why? Because all of these foods are loaded with tastes that I miss by just going to a supermarket. But I also pick up pasta sauce, someone else’s fresh pasta, canned beans, and canned tomatoes—even rice in a prepared boiling bag—off the supermarket shelves. I’m fond of take-away raw sourdough from my local wood-fired pizza restaurant (then I make the pizza at home). I also enjoy sit-down eating at that same restaurant with a group. Here, too, I taste quality: the pasta sauce that’s low in sugar, the greens that are fresh…

I conclude, if you can, cook your own!

But if you are at a restaurant or take-out, then think in these terms, It is challenging to stay FoodWISE when eating out, although not impossible. For one thing, a FoodWISE approach does not mean being fussy or rigid. Whether at a restaurant or convenience store, we should consider ourselves doing well if we choose Whole or Informed or Sustainable or Experience. With travel, or dealing with short lunch hours or long work meetings, sometimes we don’t plan very well what we are going to eat. We may be at the mercy of the hot dog stand or downstairs cafe or corner tapas bar. Even in these situations, we can prioritize some whole food. At the hot dog stand, I might ditch the white bread, slather on the sauerkraut, and spoon up the relish (especially if it’s not too sugary). Pickles? Sure. Or I might keep the bun and heap some butter on it (if it’s real butter).


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