Diversity was a word I usually ignored. I never thought of the diversity of anything-not of animals, plants, people, objects, nor food. However, last class brought me to realize that our food is lacking in variety and taste. I suddenly realized why I have such a hard time grocery shopping! Everything is pretty similar, very standard, and bland. Think about it: a standard grocery store has an entire aisle of cereal, an entire aisle of canned food, about two aisles of frozen food, an aisle of chemicals and cleaning products, an aisle of sweet things and candy, and miscellaneous aisles. I usually buy nothing from those aisles except the occasional canned vegetable or soup, or paper towels. I admit, grocery stores these days are very limited in variety.
As a child, my parents usually made good meals consisting of cooked chicken, steak, or fish, mashed potatoes, rice and beans, and vegetables, seasoned to perfection. My Cuban grandparents also made many bean-soups called potaje (poe-ta-heh) in Spanish. They consisted of various kinds of beans, little pieces of pork and other vegetables, but mainly beans. Most of the times, they would blend it all into a delicious porridge. The dishes my family would make were not exceedingly various, but were for the most part, delicious and different from the usual American grocery market.
Lately, I have been trying out organic foods because frankly, I have grown tired of the bland foods I find at Publix, Target, and Walmart. It’s not easy finding truly organic products, since there are some products that pose as organic(goes to show how powerful packaging design is). The most obvious differences I have come across so far are the fruits and vegetables; I was quite astounded at the differences of richness and texture between organic and non-organic bread, apples and tomatoes. A few weeks ago, I ate two organic apples, both of which were very rich in sweetness and texture, however when I ate an apple in Thanksgiving Break, I noticed the stark difference; this non-organic apple was quite tasteless, and hard. I also bought organic tomatoes which were ripe, soft, and tasteful; the taste was very powerful, very delicious and savory. However, the tomatoes I eat at restaurants tend to be harder, and tasteless in comparison. I also purchased organic tortilla bread and regular wheat bread which were much more “real” and delicious than the normal non-organic bread products. Who knows how much MSG restaurant and packaged foods have to make up for the loss of taste and richness…
Yep. Time to stop shopping at Publix. Besides, I never really liked Publix-I worked there for a while and it was a really bad experience. And they are quite expensive just because “they serve you better,” psshhh yea right! Anyways, enough of my dislike for Publix. I have decided that starting next semester I will start shopping at local farmer’s market. Though they may be pricey, I don’t need a whole lot of food each week. I am not sure if I will become a diversified eater, but I do know I will not pass up good taste and naturally healthy food. Next step, shopping plastic-less…is that even possible?
By Sean Cruz