Time for Food

Real food takes time. Time to grow it. Time for the harvesting, or the fattening of livestock for those who don’t have an opposition to locally-grown meat.

Since convenience foods have come to predominate the American diet, the home cooked meal has become an endangered species. Families no longer commune around food, instead, everyone fends for themselves. If you have older children, think about the last time you had a family meal that wasn’t a special occasion, but just a normal weeknight.

If you opened our refrigerator this morning, you’d find it loaded with real food like kale, apples, and fresh milk Greek yogurt and brined feta cheese from a local farmer like Balfour Farm; most American refrigerators are more likely, to be stocked with pre-packaged, microwavable meals, sans nutrients or vitamins and chock full of other things that aren’t food. Actually, many of these re-manufactured foods will last forever and don’t require refrigeration.

As I make my way through Melanie Warner’s book about processed food (I touched on this in last Friday’s post), I’ve decided I’m done with packaged cereal. That includes some of the so-called natural granolas.

On Sunday morning, I set aside 30 minutes and whipped up yet another batch of my own homemade version of my favorite cereal. It took a little bit of work, some planning to make sure I had all the ingredients, but now I have a batch that will last me a couple of weeks.

Another batch of the JBE's granola.

Another batch of the JBE’s granola.

It tastes like real food, it has actual nutrients, and it’s much cheaper than the packaged variety.

With foods like granola and sauerkraut in my DIY food repertoire, I need to come up with something new to make.

I hope to have a longer post on Friday, unpacking meat, factory farms, and why the free market runs counter to real food.

Here’s an interview done last year with Warner guesting with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now.

2 thoughts on “Time for Food

  1. Don’t even get me started about packaged cereal! My favorite of the fraudulent food culprits is “Kashi,” (owned by General Mills) posing as a good for you, healthy cereal, meanwhile spending huge wads of cash to defeat GMO labeling bills.

    Glad to see you’re back on the granola bandwagon. Maybe we should bring some on our road trip.

  2. The Italians call it “slow food.” Preparing fresh food takes time, time to be social, to talk, tell stories.

    When I first moved to Italy, I went to visit the Castello di Gesualdo, home of the magnificent 16th c. composer Carlo Gesualdo (his own story is quite colorful–he killed his wife and her lover in a rage, and then fled Naples to avoid the vendetta that would be coming from two families, building the castle in his own village and spending the rest of his life improving the hillside town).

    But on this biting cold day the castle was closed, as it has been since the earthquake of 1980. Having a guide to unknown Campanian restaurants, we set out down the hill a little ways to find it. It, too, was closed, but the owner let us in regardless, we stray Americani, fired up the stove in the seating room for our comfort, and began making from scratch a macaroni for our children and a pasta for us. He talked with us in English while he mixed and rolled and cut and baked and boiled, kept us engaged with questions and we peppered him with many as well.

    A friend of his stopped by, a man who explained to us that he was not Italian, nor Roman, but Samnite, a curious but fascinating way of seeing himself in our world. All throughout we drank a wonderful, sweet vina di tavola, red and fruity. Fresh wine without nitrites added for preservation is a wonderful thing, and when he told me what the grape was I could not believe him–we had sampled it many times before, it being the regional grape, and the wine always tasted like rusted pennies. Not this, which came from his father-in-law’s vines, and before we left we emptied out our two-liter water bottles so that he could fill them with this wonderful wine. In this way we spent a gracious, warm winter afternoon. Slow food.

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