Sunday, March 9, 2008

Food, and things that aren't

Zion goes to a co-op nursery school. Among other things, this means that we as parents are involved in the day to day running of the school. To keep this from devolving into chaos, we're all assigned to committees. Robert and I are on the shopping committee, and March is one of the months we're responsible for buying whatever the school may need at any given time.

On Friday one of Zion's teachers gave me a list of things they needed by Monday. It was the biggest list I'd yet seen for a single trip, and included 240 large trash bags, 5 lbs of sugar, 500 small paper plates, 10 bottles of juice, 2 cases of paper towels...so, this morning I loaded up the kids and headed for Shop Rite. We had to leave early, cause Robert needed the car to take his art class up to Dia:Beacon, so I didn't get to eat breakfast before we headed out. Hmm, I thought to myself, this could be trouble. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach?

But, as it turned out, it wasn't trouble. The things on the shelves at Shop Rite didn't tempt me one bit, because they just didn't look like food- quite possibly because they aren't food. Or oughtn't to be. What I really wanted was to get home so I could have some of my homemade yogurt, and maybe a couple of apples from our CSA (we picked up our last winter share yesterday, sob! How will we live through 2 1/2 months until our first summer share comes in??). Caramel corn flavored cereal? Frozen pizza? Packages of food fortified with preservatives for their long trip from production factory to your home? Yuck. O. Rama.

I must admit, however, that when I'm not actually hungry, some of this fake food does arouse a polite interest. But if I cave in and buy it, oh the disappointment! I used to love Hostess "Fruit" Pies as a kid, but not as an adult (though I do try them every few years, just to check). Ah, disenchantment. Luckily I've found that real food re-enchants me (and, I can only hope, the rest of the world) every time.

2 comments:

robert said...

jovi likes hostess pies very much when pregnant. apparently, only then can she appreciate what robert altomare of kraft foods came all the way to manhattan college to tell our students: preservatives is the good and local food is the evil. he proved this claim through the powerful logic that it costs gas money to go to the grocery store to buy wheat to bake flour (but apparently not to buy kraft bread).

Leslie said...

I've been thinking for awhile that there needs to be some special designation for foods that have come to define a particular culinary genre but that, yet, don't really taste like that food were you to have it in any other setting. Take McDonald's cheeseburgers, for instance. I grew up eating those, and distinctly remember being a kid and being disgusted by the burgers my mom would try to fix us at home b/c they didn't taste like Mickey D's. As my culinary tastes have matured, i've come to wonder *what the frick* it is in those burgers that makes them taste like that.....

LIkely I don't want to know. Thus i don't eat fast food....but I did just finish the end of an oreo cream pie that i bought out of the frozen section at the g. store, and that i had the audacity to serve to people the other night. it was good.................