Sunday, August 10, 2008

More about food

Some time ago VSL recommended an as-of-then unpublished book, What the World Eats (Tricycle Press). I immediately pre-ordered it, and it came last week. The authors spent time with 25 families in 21 countries, and each family's chapter starts off with a photograph (choose Excerpt and page over a few times) of the food they eat in a week - in their kitchen, living room, rooftop, or refugee camp space - surrounded by the family's smiling faces.

The girls and I - any anyone else who has seen it - have enjoyed perusing it, noting which families from which countries eat more fresh food, more packaged food, more meat, more fruits and vegetables...as you might expect, the three American families, as well as the British family, consume a lot of packaged foods. In China, the Beijing family does too, but the family from the rural village doesn't. An incredibly happy-looking family from Ecuador have so little...

In addition to the photo, the authors lay out everything purchased for that week, by categories like Grains, Dairy, Meat/Fish/Eggs, Fruit/Veg, Condiments, Sweets, Prepared Foods, Beverages, Fast Food, Restaurant Food, etc. Each category has a total cost, as does the week's meal itself, in local as well as American currency. Within each category, each item is identified by the name and amount of food, i.e. pork chops, 6 pounds. One American family spent $77 on beverages. Beverages!!! Soda and beer, mostly.

Jenn has been thinking about this too, recently, here and here. Her posts reminded me of my neighbor's reaction, when she read the book - "We should have a neighborhood challenge to eat better!"

I think it's like voting - every vote does count, just as every choice we make about food counts. We do the best we can, and hope our choices continue to tip the scales in favor of healthy food for children and families and living wages for farmers.


Yesterday from the Farmer's Market, I got:
  • Gala apples - small, sweet and juicy, the first batch I've seen this year
  • Cucumbers - a small heirloom variety
  • Onions
  • Red potatoes
  • Chinese green beans
  • Fresh ravioli (side note for Lisa - Theresa says to check out Katherine's MySpace site, that her baby looks JUST like Marilou)
  • Fresh figs
From the CSA, I got:
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers (we literally can't keep them for more than a day or so - the girls eat them like candy)
  • Tomatoes - the last for awhile, as we've had 45 days above 100 this year and they are spent
  • Small onions
  • Squash (summer) - lots of it, different kinds
  • Squash (spaghetti)
  • Melon
  • Flowers
Last night we made an incredible dinner, not using any of this yummy stuff. We had cannellini beans with rosemary (mine) and admittedly, a few small onions from the CSA, grilled shrimp I'd marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, s&p, and a simple green leaf salad. For dessert, however, I tried a Peter Berley recipe, and put a pint of raspberries in a skillet, added 12 of the fresh figs, scores and each with a quarter TBS of butter, and sprinkled all with 2 TBS demerararara sugar...high heat on the stove for about 3 minutes, then 425 oven for 10 minutes - it was incredibly delicious.

Tonight we'll eat at Jovita's - yum, greasy cheesy Tex-Mex - to see our favorite band play and catch up with all of our school friends and delicious babies.

For the rest of the week:
  • That ravioli, with oven-roasted tomatoes, eggplant, & onions
  • Caesar salad with grilled chicken
  • Stir Fry, with the green beans, some bok choy, and the rest of the chicken
  • Bean and Rice taco extravaganza
  • Corn & zuke frittata with cucumber salad, if they last.
Obviously, I went to the grocery store too. But - OH! - CM now has milk from the Remember When Dairy Farm - he was out completely at the market today, but directed me to CM - great news for me and full-fat dairy obsession.

I should also note that it's 6:30 AM right now - we had a friend sleep over last night, and Hazel, staying up late, got hungry and ate very late last night. I think she had a peanut butter sandwich and a pile of carrots. This morning she woke us up at 5 AM gagging and coughing - she experienced a little reflux from eating so much so late! Luckily, that seems to be all it is, as I don't need a stomach virus right now...


peevish said...

I hope Hazel feels better, and maybe you can get a nap. Mr. Man woke up around 3am and couldn't get back to sleep. Naps all around!

Jennifer said...

Ooh, I might have to check out that book. I love going to grocery stores in foreign countries and seeing all the stuff they have, how much it costs. Even here I'm always glancing surrepticiously in other people's carts.

We got some of those little yummy cukes, too. Can't figure out why Lisa won't eat them.

Sinda said...

Jenn, I had to laugh when I read this David Leibovitz recipe and comment the other day:

"The last time I made this, one guest professed not to like cucumbers. Like, at all. And she not only had one helping, but helped herself to seconds."


No way would Lisa even TASTE it!!!

peevish said...

That's true. They're disgusting.