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January 26, 2008

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eyemkmootoo

Eye'm gonna take a "wild-ass guess" and say that tomatoes don't grow in Connecticut, in January. What puzzles me is why they are so expensive in Florida(they're so easy to grow here).

CG

hahaha kmoo! I was gonna say that tomatoes in January really ARE scary!

But, having looked at exhibit A B & C, and being now interested in seeing the book just to have a more in depth look see, I am wondering what it is you find scary Alecto? I wonder if it is the same things I find scary or something else? Those Aussie's in McD's are scary, but the Africans and Bhutans who had sacks of bulk food to just be seasoned by a little of this and a little of that I found encouraging.

Kitt

Where's the Nutella?

Just kidding! Great post, and thanks for the links. I would have a very hard time composing a similar photo, cooking just for me and shopping for ingredients as the mood strikes.

Tammy

Great picture. I was totally thinking of doing my own version, too, but then laziness won out. Maybe you'll inspire me.

Alecto

Kmoo, they do, in hot houses. These, however, are from Maine. Nothing grows in the Northeast in January; or at least nothing should be growing.

CG - I am afraid of McDonalds.

Kitt - no Nutella! Yes on the Bone Sucking Mustard which is the jar to the left. I would bathe in it if I could.

Tammy - I want to see what you bring back from the farmer. In quantity!

Alecto

CG - that was trite, I'm sorry. There's a lot I'm afraid of and I don't want to look at it today. It's true about McDonalds though.

CG

ummm, did that come across as . . . different than how I meant it, which is just that tomatoes ARE scary in January. Unseasonal.

Kmoo, grow your OWN tomatoes! Tease your neighbors with them until they grow their own. And once in January, send us poor non-citrus belt people one bag of oranges, ok? We'll send some apples back.

I was thinking about what our photo would look like, what the proportions would be.

eyemkmootoo

CG; "Kmoo, grow your OWN tomatoes!"

I do. Some years I've even had them in January. But not this year and mine usually don't look as pretty as those pictured above.

W. Shedd

Cool - first time I come here and find something that interests me. I have actually been planning a blog entry on this very topic, but with my Russian in-laws weekly food as the subject.

My wife and I have made many of these same changes in purchases that you note, although given that there are only 2 of us the bill is somewhat proportionally less.

I don't buy bottled water (or Pepsi), however. Lot of reasons for that, mostly bottled water is just a ripoff and tap water in America is generally healthy and is certainly far more regulated and tested for safety than bottled water (by about a factor of 100). At home, I rely upon a Brita activated charcoal filter to remove some of the taste factors from water treatment and place a large jug in the refrigerator.

This makes me want to follow up with the in-laws and present a little bit more on this topic. Good work.

Alecto

CG - no, it's me, I'm unfit for human consumption at the moement and not particulary good about communicating coherent thoughts. I get halfway down a thought string and it just wanders... I'll come out of it eventually! Lets see if I can do this. I am bothered by the amount of processed foods in the world. It isn't that this is news to me, I've traveled extensively and seen it all over the place; maybe it's that I was seeing so much of it. I have a hard time weighing the evils between having not purchased or grown enough tomatoes to get my family through the year (canning or sauce wise). We're trying not to get a bad case of the bends as we experience what often feels like a rather rapid paradigm shift. I know, it's not rapid at all, it just feels that way. I am really bothered by the little girls and the fast food. There's a lot of baggage behind that though. God, I ramble.

Greetings, Mr. Shedd! A word about the bottled water; I hate it. That's what we call fizzy water around here and it's a compromise between me and the nanny who had to give up processed foods when she got here. And sugar, we took a lot of that away as well. She gets the fizzy water. The diet pepsi irritates me to no end. This is my sixteen year old; we've weaned her from pop-tarts to diet pepsi, we're introducing the concept of well water now. It hasn't been easy trying to find my own footing on all of this. I really ought to do a follow up on what all that food is and how it is actually consumed as waste in this household is a major no-no and we've had to work hard to husband the resources with no mom at home before 7. Again, I rant!

amy

This is super interesting to me. I thought when you said "scary" you were thinking about all the people who really do not have access to fresh food. They do not live near dirt where they could even plant a garden nor do they live near grocery stores where they can even purchase fresh food let alone go to a farmer's market. That is not even taking into account the cost of eating healthy. We have created a situation where the worse food is for you the cheaper it is. I hear you about the Diet Pepsi situation. I am very lucky that the kids do not drink that stuff (at least not around me). We do water from our filter (yum) or milk. I also think it is awesome that you can cook so much and that you enjoy it and do not consider it drudgery!

Alecto

Oh, Amy, I do mean that too. Not too many years ago I fed my family an awful lot of very bad stuff because the cost (to me) per calorie was very low and that was all I had. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese could be had for 33 cents per box and if you mixed with water instead of milk and a little vegetable oil you could fill up a few bellies. Also, a can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup when mixed with three cups of water goes a lot futher than you'd think. Maybe that was just for the salt.

CG

Alecto, maybe the paranoia factor is universal this close to February? I think you are doing great (not that what I think matters a whit you know) and you know there is ALWAYS something else to think about. Always. And in ways that is such a gift. At least you've begun the conversation with yourself, your family, your community. I also so agree about the processed foods thing. I'm horrified perhaps most of all when I find myself in the health food store and find very little of what I'd call food, but mostly pills and mixes and overly packaged overly processed products with powerful brand names.

Although Amy I think pretty much everyone *does* have access to fresh food. An amazing amount of food can be grown in the inner city, and used to be and often is in the 3rd and 4th world (and Cuba).

btw, the occasional soda is a huge treat to me.

Jasmine

Hmm, came here by way of "Food on the Food". This is interesting. I wonder what my own food would look like (I am an unorganized shopper so it would be most accurate to write down all that I prepared/bought for consumption in a week and then recreate it. I am awful about forgetting what I have and thereby wasting food.

What I think is scary is how unimportant food quality is to most people in the US. We are the culture that spends the least (percentage wise) on our food because we would rather have the money available for other "important" expenses like cable/satalite TV and the like. Our values are so skewed. Rather than eat as a family and share culture and humanity with our children we give them a game boy so they can tune out and not interact. Oops, I think I was getting up on my soap box. I found it additionally scary how little food some of those pictures contained. We are so spoiled to have access to so much (in or out of season).

Alecto

CG - maybe part February and part too much too much. I need a bios scrub. (Ignore that) When I am off my feed I either wait it out or run if off or both. Not working so well right now and there you go.

Now, the Health Food stores boggle my mind. I don't go in them much anymore because they are no longer the only way to find organic produce. However, it is the packaged stuff and the vitamins that amaze me the most. I like to just stand there and read the labels. Then I go home and google what I don't understand. My husband is a vitamin and supplement junkie; better than he used to be but still believes health comes in a pill. We're working on that. Oh, and my favorite organic thing is organic soda; I don't actually drink much soda because I don't like the bubbles (only in beer, please) but the organic soda just cracks me up. My two step-sons, raised on microwaved brocoli and chicken nuggets, extol the virtus of organic soda up one side and down the other.

Hello Jasmine, welcome. I feel very strongly about family meal time. I didn't have much of that growing up and I didn't start my family with the belief that it ought to occur. What we did was we stuck them in day care and then worked as many hours as possible and then came home and grazed. It was awful. As my children got older and my oldest and middle really began to struggle we focused more on dinner at least once or twice a week. Now, so much later, with the oldest gone but the youngest still seven, we don't miss many evening meals together. The price we pay for this indulgence is enormous. The benefit is priceless.

Bri

Alecto, I too came from Food on the Food, and love that you did your version of that magazine spread. I saw it in print last summer and was just blown away by the lack of actual food in people's pictures. Over the past few years, I've been coming more and more to the conclusion that whole foods (dairy included) are really the best thing for us, and do far more than any deconstructed supplement ever could. Michael Pollan's latest book In Defense of Food gave me even more fodder and I've made a few more subtle changes lately (like from low fat dairy to full fat, and making my own breads). Anyway, I'm so glad you did this. What a great conversation starter.

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