I bagged groceries at a coop in Burlington twice a month for awhile. One day, as I was putting groceries into the bags, I noticed how much of the food purchased was very similar to packaged pet food. It made me laugh. Since then, I have tried to be even more aware of how much people kibble I allow into our lives. The recent long car trip with it's accompanying "snacks" highlighted again how messed up the stereo-typical American relationship with food is.
For example, we have always made jokes that goldfish crackers actually have opium in them. Then this bit of info comes along Junk food as heroin . Suddenly our little joke isn't that funny. Sure, we switched to organic cheddar crackers, but I guess even organic heroin should be questioned, especially for children.
I wished, as we were driving, that I could easily present a "homemade" meal for us, but even so-called-"homecooking" restaurants are pretty nasty. Why is salad the only vegetable that even vaguely resembles something I serve at my house? It's not even that I'm a veggie- fanatic; I'm perfectly willing to serve apple pie for dinner once a week, or twice if it's a bad week. Heck, if we're having vegetable soup for dinner, I might not bother with any fruit/vegetable option besides applesauce at lunch.
I think it's that extra something in industrial food that I have learned to dislike, that strange chemical tang that is supposed to make the soup or salad dressing "new and improved" or "zesty!" Why can't people be satisfied with the genuine flavor of cornmeal or buttermilk or apples? Why does everything need to be flavor- enhanced?
On the car trip, I did take along yogurt and granola (not homemade, because I thought of it too late) and some fresh bread and that peanut butter you grind fresh when you buy it, but that was all gone when we were ready to come home. I made a foray to Whole Foods in Cincinnati, but this tired mama got lost in all the people kibble. And I'm honest with myself- I do not actually believe organic sesame sticks are that much better (if any) than a bag of chips.
By the time we got home, I was ready to wash that chemical tang out of my system with some roasted beets and potatoes and some apple pie.