Friday, 22 February 2008


I was just reading the KGI Feb Newsletter and I came across this little excerpt of an article: By Barbara Damrosch, published Thursday, February 14, 2007 in The Washington Post, called 'The Best Nutrition is Natural' where she is discussing a book called 'In Defense of Food' by Michael Pollan. I liked this paragraph:

..."One of Pollan's maxims is to choose food at the edges of the supermarket if you must shop there at all. The center aisles are a swirling nucleus of ever-changing fake foods with unpronounceable ingredients. Pick up something from the outer walls instead: an honest red cabbage or a fat beet. Then break through those walls to the fields and gardens beyond."

This is just what I was saying to someone the other day - on the odd occasion I need to go to the supermarket (for toilet paper and dish mops) I am amazed that there hardly seems to be any food there any more. No, I am not just looking in the toiletries aisle, I mean, what is all that stuff wrapped in expensive-looking plastic ? Does anyone actually buy cans full of chemicals to put on their food to make perfectly good vegetables taste like something else? Or stuff mascarading as Asian food, in a cup you can just add water to and put in the microwave? There are buns and cakes that are so highly coloured I wouldn't feed them to my chooks and mothers collecting little pots of a semi-liquid that claims to be yoghurt with flavouring that is 'made from real fruit'. Why not just get some real fruit and some real yoghurt and mix them together? How hard is that? Why do they buy it all homogenised and thickened and coloured and sweetened?

Their kids are all chubby and their eyes are dull and their trolleys are full of rubbish that say 'low fat' , 'sugar-free', but don't say 'poisonous to your body', or 'not actually food' , or 'guarenteed to give you cancer or heart disease or diabetes or all 3 and more', which would be the truth. There may be some fruit or vegetables in the trolley too but they are not in season (and so not local), not a natural colour and usually packaged in shiny plastic, which is supposed to indicate freshness but tells me it is definitely anything but!

When I get home and step out of my car I hear - silence - and I see - real food, there in my garden next to the driveway and I go and pick a lettuce leaf or a couple of beans and sigh with relief that, as mad as I may be, advertising is not working on me. Almost everything I need to eat is in the aisle right in front of me and will stay there until the minute I need to pick it for dinner. It's not that hard. It's a lot easier than going shopping!

(6am is a bit early to be sitting here all fired up about this but that just goes to show how annoyed I am that this has happened. I get up thinking I will write something beautiful about plants and then look what happens. I could go on about the water restrictions now or other stupid things


Maggie said...

Pale faces, a group of humans who get no Vit D from the sun and no Vit C from eating fresh raw food. Plus no the list goes on and on and on !!!

Maggie said...

If you want to get really worked up about something, google the history of how camels and their immigrant keepers opened up this land of ours and how badly they were treated. Then think about the first people who lived in this land and how we know nothing about indigenous foods and what would have been growing naturally around the hills and plains.
KGI is a great place to start to see that we are all citizens and guardians of this planet.
Lets share and work together to try preserve our planet and the human species.

Patrick said...

It's pretty amazing how little food is in our supermarkets too, and it's gotten a lot worse in the last couple of years. There was a bit of a rebellion here, and people stopped buying food out of season and shipped in from far away. The result? The supermarkets stopped stocking it, leaving the produce section mostly bare. Too much trouble to source local produce I guess.

Yes, the supermarket is great if you need mops or soap, but don't even think about getting food there.

gardengal said...

I heard someone say once
"if your grandmother wouldn't recognise it as food, then don't eat it!".
Although I did eat a protein bar after a ride the other day ... very guilty about that.

gardengal said...
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