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    Posted February 28, 2010 by
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Food court city

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    More Restaurants per capita than any other city in the USA. I give a "C" for Healthy Dining.


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Ryn is a regular contributor from Tennessee.
    - nsaidi, CNN iReport producer

    The fair city of Knoxville Tennessee, once known as that "scruffy little city" now has more restaurant's per capita than any other city in the USA.

    We luv our food!

    Our lives have centered around eating, eating to celebrate, eating to mourn, eating to lift us up, eating to nurse wounded hearts. Aside from all the fast food chains that pack on the pounds, our city has steak houses and sea food restaurants at all four corners, north, south, east and west. Tennessee loves it's steak, ribs and BBQ.  Different cultures offer Mexican, Asian, Indian, Irish, Italian and many other international tastes. Some are a little generic and some wonderfully authentic.Some offer low calorie or low carb menus, most not.

    I truly believe most East Tennessean's enjoy our own southern, traditional and Hill Billy country cooking the most.  Even as infants it was mashed up and fed to us long before pediatricians recommend today. Pinto Beans with bean juice mashed over cornbread, sausage gravy over home made biscuits, maybe a little Karo syrup and butter, often graced our tables at home and out to eat. Today we go in search or have our favorite down home cooking eateries that serve what Mama used to make. There are excellent restaurant's that offer smart eating as well as vegan and vegetarian dishes. My favorite place to eat is Tomato Head on the Market Square Mall. I can always find a delicious veggie dish or pizza.

    Knoxville has a church and restaurant almost on every corner. It is too easy to run out and grab an unhealthy bite to eat. Fast food dominates the city most definitely.

    The Mom and pop cafes  are the best, may be not the healthiest. More and more we are seeing the trend toward healthier restaurants.

    Our main food chains do offer organic and natural foods as well as international sections. The smaller stores gear toward the sociology and economics of the area.

    Forty percent of Knoxville school age children are obese.

    I am type two diabetic, on four insulin injections a day.

    It is imperative that I watch my carb intake. I grew up in a typical East Tennessee household with lots of wonderful cooks. Most often I prepare meals at home but if we choose to eat out,it is almost always somewhere we can order  something vegetarian.

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