Looking back, I used to have a pretty healthy and diversified diet. Back when we lived in France, I was mostly under the care of my grandparents, great cooks both of them, and both had grown up on farms. On top of that, we lived in a relatively small village, and the farmer’s market was the only place to get food before all the supermarkets started opening up. I can still remember the richness of the Sunday chicken or the Tuesday steak or the vegetables we could only get on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Like in No-Impact Man, there was a time for everything, food was seasonal, or only available once a week, but damn was it good. My diet was rich in garden vegetables and fruits and fruit juices of all kinds. Then…then we moved to America. Here’s a brief history of my eating habits here:
I distinctly remember eating a baked potato and a fruit roll-up every single day, and when they introduced bacon bits, I added those to my potato habit.
For the first year of middle school, they were actually serving Doritos, so I ate those for a year. Then, they started offering the “healthier” alternative, baked chips, which were disgusting but I ate those anyway. I also had two or three cans of gatorade every day.
Monday: Seshwan Chicken
Friday: Seshwan Chicken
Ramen, Tostitos, Pasta, Sandwiches, Peanut Butter, lots of Burgers and Fries
So yeah…left to my own devices, and more importantly, the limited options at the cafeteria, I have not been eating very well at all at school. Thankfully, this is somewhat balanced by my relatively healthy diet at home, when food is being prepared by my parents. We are fortunate enough to be able to afford organic produce, not necessarily from farmer’s markets, but stores like Central Market and Whole Foods. My parents are health-conscious and go out of their way to acquire better quality food. At home I have delicious fruit juice all the time, where as the cafeteria equivalent usually makes me sick.
I’m not sure I understand why the quality of cafeteria food is so lacking, and so I resort to fried foods because they are the only one with any taste. With our meals averaging around $8 a pop on the meal plan, you would think we could get some decent food. For $6 down the street I can get a delicious Chinese meal or for $5 some really good pizza or salad. And yet for almost $24 a day I have to tiptoe around the various “options” presented to us so as not to be sick to my stomach later that day.
Generally speaking, I don’t have a very healthy diet, especially when its up to me or I’m dependent on the cafeteria or restaurant system. However, when presented with healthier options, I’m really quite enthused by vegetables and home-made dishes. I just wouldn’t know where to find them or how to cook them. So…here’s hoping I find a “foodie” wife or roommate or best friend and mooch off them.