01/21/20 - Froo-Froo Grocery Exploratory Committee

Mood miserable pile of secrets icon miserable pile of secrets
Tags Health Composting

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to blog about, it’s that I’ve had way too much to blog about and I don’t even know where to start. Turn back now. Can’t say I didn’t warn you.

I get weird about everything I’m remotely interested in, so it was only a matter of time before I got weird about composting. I started using a 2.5 quart container and within 3 days we’d filled it with greens. None of it was edible waste either, it was all tea bags, fruit peels, and so on. My renewed interest in composting has dovetailed with Marlin going mostly vegetarian and my own elimination diet, which by necessity has meant less processed food and more vegetables.

I swore a solemn oath that every time I look at something and wonder, can I compost this? I will actually go look it up. Doing so, I learned that they actually make compostable parchment paper, for example. I’m going to start composting paper that can’t be recycled. Will this snowball to uncomfortable proportions? Most certainly, but if I’m happily occupied I’m staying out of trouble, so everyone should be pleased with this development.

I have been getting into cooking and food again, and thus ended up crashing headlong into my Big Ideological Problemâ„¢. Here it is. Get ready. My Big Ideological Problem is that while my interests frequently run parallel to things like veganism, vegetarianism, foodie culture, etc., I actually kind of hate the moralizing ideologies that have become front and center in those communities and the ways in which people will bend over backwards to maintain ideological purity.

For me going gluten-free just means avoiding processed food as a practical matter. Commercial gluten-free products are expensive and usually gross, so I decided if I want a cookie or something bad enough I need to just make it myself. This has led me back into cooking, which I used to do a lot, and researching recipes online and trying to decide if I will buy into such concepts as coconut flour and almond flour (former maybe, latter no, if you so much as breathe the words “xanthan gum” I will punch you in the mouth).

Gluten-free tends to go hand in hand with a host of other food cultures, and I now find myself butting heads with things like the Organic Food and non-GMO food movements and various modern dieting trends, many of which have elitist and anti-science principles. Food moralists by large are incredibly uninformed or misinformed, there is no nicer way to put it, and while I will tolerate woo to some extent what I don’t tolerate is the way these movements create special types and designations of food with alleged nutritional and ethical benefits, that are by their nature more expensive and harder to get, and designate these a marker of a “good” person.

So let’s talk about the grocery store. There is a fancy grocery store somewhat near the house, and I went in there the other day and it seemed promising so I decided to do an actual grocery run there. Within about 10 minutes it became apparent I was not going to be able to handle anything happening in that place. And the thing is, it wasn’t even as bad as Whole Foods, which has massive posters of ladies eating salad that say THRIVE and crap like that. It was comparatively low-key and slightly run down, it should have been manageable, but as I perused all their Good People Processed Foods That Make You Gooder And/Or Smarter I was getting more and more irritated, and then–the marshmallows happened.

I needed a package of marshmallows. They only had 2 kinds and both were $5.50 each, I shit you not. I just about lost my mind. I temporarily blacked out so I don’t remember how they were justifying $5.50 for a bag of marshmallows, I’m sure they were Non-GMO Vegan Free Range Cures Male Pattern Baldness marshmallows or something. It wasn’t just the marshmallows really it was everything. They had 50x nori sheets, which I would normally get at the Asian food store for about $12, for $32. They put everything in small #5 containers, which cannot be recycled locally. I could go on. It was maddening.

So, the Froo-Froo Grocery Store Exploratory Committee either failed or massively succeeded, depending on your perspective, and I left that place angrily clutching my little containers of raw nuts and seeds and mumbling about how they didn’t even sell “normal carrots”, looking like some kind of craven weirdo. Later that day I went to the normal person grocery store that is 5 minutes from my house to get a few things that I’d understandably forgotten in my blinding rage, and I discovered they had absolutely everything I needed packaged in reasonable normal person ways at the price I’d expect to pay for food stuff. So, marshmallows? $2, which is AS GOD INTENDED.

The moral of the story? There’s not one, but let’s pretend it’s something like, don’t trust people who sell grains in open containers everyone breathes all over. The end.