Bonnie Modugno, MS, RD - Shopping like everyman
I have shopped primarily at farmer’s markets and Whole Foods grocery stores with minimum purchased from conventional grocery stores for almost three months. Tonight I went shopping at Costco, getting ready for my son’s birthday party. I feel like a traitor. I opted for organic but grain fed hamburger meat. I bought hamburger buns. I am aghast that they contain high fructose corn syrup. The cucumbers and red peppers were grown conventionally. I sold out.
In a moment of indecision, I opted for what was convenient and what would save me another trip to the market on a Saturday. I am truly stunned at how how bad I feel. I don’t want to eat this food. I am already scheming on a plan to maintain my own clean, and unadulterated food supply, leaving the kids to scarf down the cheaper and more convenient fare.
I try to soothe myself with the thought that if I had bought the party package at the bowling alley, it would have been worse. But that is hardly any condolence.
What will be served will be better than what is served at most parties. Hamburgers and Hot Dogs for sure, but served with a salad bar (my 14 year old son’s request) and a platter of fresh grapes. And 0f course there will be ice cream cake.
I am struck by how bizarre it feels to purchase food mainstream. I am acutely aware of how uncomfortable I feel. At the same time I am relieved to have the bulk of the food purchased and I can dedicate myself to food preparation tomorrow. I realize this challenge– the desire to eat whole foods by purchasing food produced as close to the earth as possible–is exhausting. The mix of work demands, end of school semester demands, preparing for birthday parties and the holiday demands has taken its toll. The reality check feels like a sucker punch.
Until food producers switch to a much different mode, the effort to eat close to the earth will continue to demand time, energy and money that many people just don’t have. This is a sobering truth.