the original kStyle blog.

Monday, May 03, 2004

What's in Your Grocery Cart?

I saw a peculiar TV commercial recently, for Hidden Valley Ranch, I believe, or perhaps some other salad dressing. First, a woman assembled a casserole of chicken and vegetables and maybe potatoes and a TON of ranch dressing. These and other salad-dressing inspired, quick-and-easy recipes are available online, the ad informed me. Then a bunch of people stood before rolling green hills, professing their devotion to this salad dressing. "It's simply the best brand out there," they said, smiling brightly.

Is this how most people eat, I wondered, or how food companies want us to eat? It didn't occur to me to think of food in terms of "brands". The boyfriend and I don't purchase many pre-prepared foods, which usually cost too much and don't save that much time, anyway. (Want salad dressing? Mix olive oil and balsamic or tahini, water, and lemon juice.) Our grocery purchases for the week looked something like this:

beer, 2 limes, 2 potatoes, dandelion greens, 1 leek, 1 tomato, okra, 2 artichokes, 1 cantaloupe, 1 orange, 2 pears, fresh thyme, bay leaves, fresh savory, mint tea, 6 (free range) eggs, yeast, imported Genoa salami (oh my god, it's expensive but so good), ham, a little bacon, 2 steaks, 1 can adzuki beans, 1 can black beans, tortillas, burrito sauce, tofu (for miso soup), 2 shitake mushrooms, a little bulk granola for a treat, and (OK, brand name) mocha Soy Dream sandwiches.

I realized yesterday, comparing our grocery cart to others, that perhaps our diet has veered pretty far from the typical American diet. It was a gradual process, though, and swear to God, we still eat frozen pizzas. It shifted mostly from my impetus; all those classes on healing foods are having their effect! It began innocently enough, with sea salt and a couple strips of seaweed (for the minerals), and insidiously progressed into the hard stuff: a distrust of microwaves (studies have found they alter the antibiotic properties of breast milk) and whole new worlds of vegetables. I can see how people wake up one day and realize they've become raw foodists, or vegans, or full macrobiotics, quite without plan.

Recommended reading: Recipes for Self-Healing by Daverick Leggett.


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