Saturday, May 19, 2012

Consuming "correctly" makes people more likely to act like jerks

I am actually not that surprised by this.  I've run into it before and it does way more harm than good.  Unfortunately, these attitudes help solidify the idea that organic foods, sustainable ways of living, and local foods/resources are for a small, wealthier group of people.

Thank heavens the workers at the CSA I belong to (and my fellow members) aren't jerks.  They cheerfully hand you over a paper bag* or two if you forgot your reusable bags (or need more than you brought--it gets plentiful in the height of the summer).  There's no snotty attitude, just a shared joy of food and an eagerness to talk with you about how you might prepare the recipes.  If they were like the jerks in the article, I'd drop out.  I'd rather hang with people who know that not everyone can afford these "correct" lifestyle choices.**

*Paper bags are awesome.  When I was in the first grade, I played a squirrel in a school play.  We didn't have to have costumes but I made one anyway, thanks to a paper shopping bag and a box of crayons.  And yes, all the other kids made them too when I showed them mine.  If we had reusable shopping bags, I couldn't have been all METHOD and really, my creative impulses would have been stifled, which is CHILD ABUSE I TELL  YOU CHILD ABUSE and I would have written a book about my very tough life and gone on Oprah about the difficulties of living in a world without paper bags.

**Also, purists would be horrified if they saw my pantry.  My love for boxed mac 'n' cheese is epic.  At the end of a week where I diligently stick to fresh kale and beets and fish and beans and whole grains (as locally sourced as I can get them), I get hit with a MAD INSANE UNSTOPPABLE CRAVING FOR BOXED MAC 'N' CHEESE, CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP AND TUNA MADE IN ONE POT.  And I'm like, no that's disgusting don't do it EAT THE MORAL FOOD and then my ID is all DON'T YOU EVEN IT'S DELICIOUS HAVE THE BOXED STUFF YOU NEED FATS IN YOUR DIET HYDROGENATED OILS FOR THE WIN BABY and then I think Oh, no I really shouldn't hey! What am I doing stop making this dish it's disgusting and my ID is all NO YOU MEAN IT'S DELICIOUS and I eat the whole thing and basically pass out.

Purity, it backfires.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for the chuckle! We also have an affinity for the blue box of Mac & Cheese... so much so, that my young sons have proclaimed homemade mac & cheese as "yucky." Sometimes I worry what I have done to them... but what's life without a few preservatives, right?

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  2. Haha, what an interesting article!

    I have to admit, I don't eat organic. I have done a lot of research on various pesticides and herbicides, and they are immensely damaging, however the "organic" alternatives can be just as nasty, such as using copper ions, which can poison land for both plants and animals.

    I do hate forgetting my re-usable bags though. It's horrible having to ask for those plastic ones!

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  3. I know the snooty blogger types who look down their nose. But, I know no one in person who does this.

    Mac and cheese, mushroom soup and tuna? That sounds really soupy. Can you tell us how you make it? Water in soup? What?

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  4. Oh, PP, it's dead easy! I found the recipe on the back of a shells and cheese box 20 years ago (OK, now I feel old). It should be shells and cheese (the other shapes blend too much into the mixture and it does get mushy). Make the shells and cheese the way you normally would, add a can of cream of mushroom soup and a flaked, drained can of tuna. Heat through and eat. It's probably TERRIBLE for you and it's no epicurean delight but I can't help but love the stuff. I do get cravings that I cannot ignore.

    I have met people who were self-righteous about it--and I'm embarassed to say that I think I used to come across that way myself (not so much around food, but other stuff). I'm not really a fan of the politics of personal purity. As I said though, the people at my CSA are lovely. We all just talk about food.

    Bryallen, I hate forgetting my reusable bags as well--I have plenty onhand so it's mortifying. I didn't know that about copper ions. Yikes.

    Christina, preservatives are the BEST. Also, better to have kids who prefer the boxed mac 'n cheese than raise children who turn into adults who will only eat it if it's made with gourmet cheese at $10.99 a pound and hand-rolled pasta. (Though my dad makes a fantastic homemade mac 'n cheese with pepperjack. YUM. But it's a different taste and mouth feel for me.)

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  5. I used to be able to eat mac and cheese. *Sob* I like mine with tuna and peas ("Easy stovetop casserole" circa 1970s/1980s), and is in fact the only way I will eat tuna. But alas... no pasta for me unless and until wheat stops making me throw up. I hate this!

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    1. Ugh, food allergies and intolerances stink! :(

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  6. 1. I also love the mac and cheese.... even the Easy Mac containers I buy for my kids end up in my belly... throw in a touch of hot sauce and I'm good to go!

    2. My sister and I used to wear paper bag costumes in parades when were were young. We would visit this small town every summer and they would always have a kids parade. Each year we got our paper bag (preferably sans handles) and deco-ed it up with our crayons and puffy paints... I have to say... we received more comments from the onlookers than our fancy counterparts!~

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    1. Of course they noticed your costumes--you pulled something together from everyday materials! People like that.

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  7. When I was a kid, my mom put cut-up hotdogs in mac & cheese (yes, the boxed kind) and I loved it. Can't claim it's an epicurean delight, but there you have it.

    We garden and hunt/fish so that's our form of "organic" but I just can't justify paying twice as much for many items at the grocery store, so I don't buy organic.

    Our curbside recycling requires us to put paper products in a (drum roll) ... paper bag ... so that's what I get at the supermarket. And yes, we've done the costume-making trick, and here's another one--my mom didn't have a cookie rack so she cut up a paper bag to place cookies onto once they came out of the oven. It soaks up any extra oils which is a nice benefit.

    Pamela, you are a riot. Thanks for being "normal" frugal and green and health-conscious and not making me feel guilty for not being perfect.

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    1. You are so sweet to say this! It's notable that even though a lot of people are "coming back" to food preservation and gardening, etc., there's a lot of. . .I guess snobbery in it still. To hear *some* people talk, the vegetables grown must be a special heirloom variety bathed in the tears of angels to be worthy to eat.

      Hot dogs are definitely an epicurean delight!!

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  8. My husband laughingly says that now we are finally "cool"--we've been gardening/composting/re-using/recycling for years, long before it was popular. Alas, we really just like to save money and hate waste.

    It does seem like there is a spirit of one-upmanship (hmm, not sure how to spell that)in all of these "green" areas. It isn't enough that you garden ... you need to propagate your own heirloom seeds. Don't just recycle ... take 30 second showers with cold water and install a windmill to meet your home energy needs. Whole wheat flour isn't good enough--spelt and quinoa all the way, baby! So do these folks recycle used toilet paper???

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