Michael Pollan has started a revolution in the way people are viewing food. I am now just about half way through his book In Defense of Food and his arguments are definitely compelling and smart.
Let me take this back a step. When I was in college I was somewhat of a vegetarian (one who still ate fish that is). I think it was my freshman year when I was handed a brochure on campus which described in great detail (and images) where our meat comes from, how the animals live and how they die. From then on I could not look at a burger the same. Well, this only lasted a few years because then I got married. I married Stone, who happens to love meat. So for the last two years I have eaten meat too. I really like meat as a matter of fact, I just am much more careful to notice where it is coming from. Unfortunately buying better food is more expensive... go figure! But, Michael Pollan does make a good argument in that we as Americans eat too much anyway, so if we just cut our portion sizes and buy better foods then it could even out by the time the lady behind the counter gives you the grand total for your groceries.
When shopping at the grocery store I have learned it is safest to stay on the perimeter of the building, this is where the healthy foods are located. Also, at restaurants it is important to note where their meat is coming from, and it is not hard to find restaurants that only have free-range and local meats. Other than that just notice how many ingredients are involved in whatever you are throwing in your cart, if it is more than five it is not necessarily considered "real food", it is something a scientist has made up that can be digested, but is not actually food.
All this to say, eating right can be difficult, but with all of the resources we have, there really is no excuse! I am constantly finding recipes from here, here and here. And another of Michael Pollen's books, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual helps lay out some ground rules as well.
Now, let's all live longer happier lives.