Friday, June 12, 2009

Three Favorite Rules from In Defense of Food

This is the promised follow-up to the discussion of Food, Inc

Three Favorite Rules from In Defense of Food:


·         “Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”


I have a pretty good idea of what my great-grandmother thought was food because I have two of her cookbooks: the 1946 Joy of Cooking and City Mission Cook Book: Favorite Recipes of the Women of Greater Lawrence. She may not have been exposed to the ethnic cuisines that are popular today, but I’m confident that she could have been educated in this area. Breads with 20-something ingredients, high fructose corn syrup and McFrankenchicken would certainly not have qualified.


·         “Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.”


Most supermarkets are set up so that the fresh foods and foods that require refrigeration – produce, meats, fish, dairy, etc. – are set up along the edges of the market. This is supposed to be for better temperature control (but I always thought it was so you had to travel across the length of the store to get all your typical items, allowing the store more chances to market to you). The middle is where you find the four or so aisles devoted to junk food, soda, and packaged food along with other aisles of assorted crap. The only caveat to this rule would have to be the aisle(s) with the rice and other grains, oatmeal and dried beans. And sometimes you need to buy spices, toilet paper, a mop, etc. Most of the rest is crap, or not-food-your-great-grandmother-would-recognize.


·         “Get out of the supermarket whenever possible.”


We are one week away from our first CSA pick-up of the season. Last year, I rarely went to the supermarket. And, there’s a food co-op market down the street from the pick-up site, so I could go there to replenish my supply of rice, millet, black beans, etc. It might be an interesting experiment to see how long I can go without going to the supermarket at all. Hmmm…..



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