I hate that buying groceries is stressful. Where exactly did these avocados come from? Should I pay $2 more for organic lemons? Why is there BHT in every box of cereal and what the hell is it, really? If there are 27 unpronounceable ingredients in this frozen veggie sausage can it be good for me? Canned beans or dried? Sugar free or fat-free or preservative free or high fructose corn syrup free? And the egg choices read like a New Hampshire license plate–Cage Free or Die. Then there’s the sodium content and the caffeine and the trans fats and the red dye and the white flour and the MSG. And God knows what’s in a Pringle or a Pizza Flavored Goldfish. And just what is a natural ingredient? Is it the B side of an Aretha Franklin single? Is it birthday suit natural? Is it what’s left after they put all that crap in my $5.00 loaf of bread to give me extra protein and vitamins and fiber, and then figure a way to process it out?
Food has gotten so complicated.
And it’s gotten political as well. If you eat red meat you’re an animal hater and if you don’t eat red meat you’re a communist. If you’re a vegan the vegetarians think you’re trying to one-up them and the carnivores think you belong to a cult. And holy crap, let’s not forget the gluten. If you eat gluten you probably have a serious psychological diagnosis to go along with it.
Trust me, I get it. I want to eat local and healthy and not get diabetes and reduce my urban footprint and my waistline and stop global warming too.
But it’s hard. Sometimes it makes me feel a little crazy. I never know what to eat so lately I just eat everything. I’ve always loved food, but I’m starting to resent it. I’m the kinda gal who can read cookbooks for pleasure, but I’m starting to resent them too. Eat This Not That, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, Clean Food. Tell me, who wants to eat dirty food?
Maybe I’m getting old and crabby, but I’ve read so much about food and nutrition that I’m overwhelmed. In some ways it’s like writing. I’ve read a lot about that too and I don’t think it’s getting me anywhere. But you can’t just stop eating. And there’s a lot of pressure to eat right. It’s the same with writing. As much as I would love to, on some subterranean level, I can’t stop trying to put stories on paper, trying to get it right.
So I muddle along. I have a feeling it gets better, but never easy. Some days the ingredients are perfect. Some days it’s nothing but heartburn.