Friday, 21 September 2012

a good meal is hard to find.

i'm in sonoma county, nestled in the redwoods in between the pacific ocean and miles and miles of orchards, vineyards, groves and crops, home to the people after whom the term hippie was created and many, many "yippies", which is another post entirely. point is, there should be good food and there should be good food in abundance. instead, i'm surrounded by the same shitty safeways, lucky's, and this new grocery store i've encountered that can only be described as the k-mart of whole foods. plus, of course whole foods, which is great but you need to donate a kidney per week to afford the food there. here's a little breakdown for those who are USA-brand challenged:

safeway: the ubiquitous mega-grocery store; features a deli, ready-made food, aisles of packaged foods, and every thing else you'd expect in a supermarket. everything's OK, but it's also completely transgenic and probably causes six different types of cancer. you eat cheap but you feel cheap after.

lucky's: same as above, but with less prepared food and more cancer.

whole foods: i remember falling in love with whole foods at the tender age of 9 in washington, DC. my aunt told me to grab whatever i wanted because i was staying the week.i still fantasize about that afternoon. anyway, whole foods lives up to its name: it features organic, local, healthy food, and an abundance of prepared foods, hot and cold. problem? yes, you have to be growing a lot of green to be able to shop there.

trader joe's: same as whole foods, but not quite as local or sustainable. mildly cheaper, but you feel the difference.

fresh and easy: this is my favorite, not as a grocery store, but as a genius concept. it seems healthy: hummus, vegetables, salads, grains; but there's no mention of the word organic anywhere, and everything is packaged. it's mass-produced, transgenic health food. pure genius. i shopped there once and i'm pretty sure it took a few days off my life. i couldn't help it. everything goes on sale at 7pm the day it expires, so that tomato-mozzerela-pesto salad that wasn't quite worth it at $2.99 is all of a sudden seventy cents. take it from me and save your seventy cents.

to me, this is all another push against the idea of one-stop shopping. it's convenient, but at what cost? i feel like the only affordable way to eat without developing diabetes is to buy food at the source, and it's a pity places like safeway have wiped that idea out. imagine shopping at markets like in mexico, where the farmers sell their home-grown, fresh-picked produce, the fishermen spend the afternoon hawking their catch of the day, and the grains are sold in huge barrels, free of any processing or branding. the resulting meal is otherworldly, both in taste and in the way you feel after eating it.

anyway, here's breakfast this morning: fresh-baked whole grain purple wheat bread, local 5-pepper goat cheese and some coconut milk fresh out of the shell. plus, some steamy reading!!

breakfast in the redwoods

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