Fruitful shall be the precious advice of our new editor, Ellen Kannerand I nourish hopes for a more regular blog here, will try at least, with a little help from my friends.
I was sitting on my South Beach balcony watching the world go by. Pelicans were gliding just an inch above the Intracoastal waterway, manatees grazed the seagrass pastures below, crows performed stunts in mid-air, an occasional ray jumped out of the water. Maybe it was mating season.
And suddenly, I was plucking dandelion, cress, sage and chervil growing wild by a gurgling creek, my sparse hair flowing in the mild mid-February wind, my mood undisturbed by a grumbling New Yorker passing by. A recent shower had coaxed the crocus into blooming. Hazelnuts waited to be collected, as did wild strawberries. Thornless bushes sprouted glistening raspberries. Blackberries grew underneath, big as quail eggs. Tiny white and yellow blooms peeked through the juicy green grass.
The lush forest, just a stone’s throw away, hosted an abundance of chanterelles, porcini and fat morel mushrooms. In this far more nutritious parallel universe, I knew how to read the forest floor, searching out small circles devoid of certain plants, signifying the habitat of white truffles, the diamond of the kitchen, tuber magnatum pico. I unearthed a small fortune’s worth of them, making sure tonight’s homemade pasta had the right partner.
As I swayed home at sunset, I stopped to drink the milk and honey flowing freely from a nearby spring and culled for my dinner an organic grilled chicken from the wild flock roosting there. At the doorsteps of my cottage, Marilyn Monroe offered me Krug champagne and a smile that spoke a thousand words.
You realize I dreamed all this.
You like to think the food you buy comes from somewhere close to paradise, too -- even more so since you buy from Whole Foods once a month.
You fix your own meals, lots of veggies, ah, but the slab of pork ribs is cheap and you gotta save money. Three pounds is just enough to feed one mouth, one helping as they call it. It’s mostly bones anyway. Since you buy most of your stuff at Costco, you save lots. Might as well have lunch there after shopping.
Enjoy that huge $1.49 piece of pizza along with a soda pop, it’s included in the bargain. Maybe have a $.99 hotdog with it -- they give you a quarter pound of sausage with all the trimmings.
Nope, this food is not from paradise nor from your garden. You don’t want to know where it comes from, how it is made or about what the thousands of artificial additives do to your intestines or the environment,
The same applies when you pick the banana without blemishes. It might look nice, but it’s been forced-grown with chemical fertilizers, picked under ripe and shipped from far away. And that’s how it tastes -- sweet but far away from the full, lush flavor of banana.
There is no good meat at $2.99 a pound. There is no cheap food that’s rich-tasting and aromatic, unless it’s in season or because you grew it yourself.
Mr. Fred Myer did not grow everything himself. His huge company and others like it use methods nobody should know about. Companies selling processed foods employ tons of really smart people who do nothing but to try and enhance profits for their employer. The problem is, for you at least:
Cheap food has cheap ingredients which in turn gives you a health problem because you will have to stomach those cheap ingredients. So the next time you visit your pal, the doctor, don’t be surprised if after the weigh-in, he says you’re obese. You will likely spend tens of thousands of bucks to fight this pot belly you carry, you will sweat like a pig and be the disgrace of your partner.
Or take the easy way. Use that noggin of yours. Read labels next time you go shopping. If something is made with nasty ingredients, don’t buy it.
To find out more about these issues, as well as great food and drink and hot sex in old age, take a look at our real food project.