Almost Nothing To Buy

October 21, 2009

Unless you are paying someone to do it for you, you are the supermarket specialist in the family.

I say this because for many people, the weekly grocery trip is right up there with getting a colonoscopy. It just is not fun.

You’ve got your list, your budget, and maybe an idea of what you want to eat. You’re in a hurry. You want convenience and someone to truck it all home and put it away. And it is getting harder to buy real food!

This struck me as I made my way through the throngs of shoppers to get to the fish department. I had no idea what I wanted before I got there; I just knew that I was looking for something wild. And by law, supermarkets must post the place of origin for meats, fish and produce. I scoured the fish case. Farm raised tilapia? Nope. Farm raised jumbo shrimp from Thailand? Nope. Farm raised salmon from Norway?Nope. “I’ll take a pound of those wild seas scallops and a pound of the wild haddock,” I say, making sure the clerk knows I said wild good and loud.

Meat selection is next. The sign over the meat case reads that all the meat is either from the US, Mexico, Canada or Argentina. I think I’ll make a quiche instead.

I dread the time when my garden is kaput for the season. I know that what I have grown myself is better than produce in the store that has, on average, traveled over 1500 miles to get here. How fresh can it be? Instead I look for produce coming from close to home like blueberries from New Jersey, that’s only 400 miles away. And escarole from Massachussetts.

In the cereal aisle, I reach for anything whole grain with lots of fiber. All those other sugar coated cereals should be banned. I read the labels on the cracker boxes, too much sodium and yellow dye. Ditto in the cheese department. You want Swiss, cheddar, and food coloring too? It’s amazing how many additives, food coloring, and pesticides are in just about everything we buy. When I stop and think about it, there is almost nothing pure and unadulterated to buy in the grocery store, not even water.

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