Sticker Shock

The food in the United States is bad. You have to, or would have to search far and spend a great deal in order to match the freshness and purity of the groceries you can get at your local feria in Mexico. And the restaurant food here is bad, too; it is fatty and overcooked even in “good” places.

Of course, when I came to Mexico from Guatemala, I said the same of the Mexican grocery quality, as compared to the truly, amazingly, just from the garden, unadulterated, unmodified groceries they had had in Guatemala.

Still, the food in the United States is significantly worse than it is in either of these countries if you know what freshness and purity are. If you know, and you do not belong to a CSA cooperative and grow your own fruit, then you know nothing you are getting is fresh.

I knew these things and I am shocked nonetheless; I knew I was eating well these past weeks but it was really simple and inexpensive food; I did not realize exactly the high level of quality to which I was accustoming myself.

Axé.

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11 Comments

Filed under Banes, News

11 responses to “Sticker Shock

  1. Wi

    Screw’em. Come to Guatemala!

  2. But it looks prettier in the US right? ;-) Where pretty is big and symmetrical and unblemished and tasteless . . .

  3. Z

    I think that’s only the Chilean and California fruit, when it is closer to point of origin. Here it looks bruised and rotten, not as pretty as in Mex./C.A.

  4. Ah! Finally somebody confirms that I’m not crazy and am not just imagining this.

  5. Z

    The other thing is the Gulf seafood. Two hours’ flight from here, still in the Gulf of Mexico, their Gulf seafood is fresher and just generally better than ours (which is so famous, and all). And it is the same genus and species and everything.

    I went to lunch at an outright fancy restaurant today just to get decent quality food — that I cannot get even in grocery stores. When I came back from Guatemala and also Peru the only thing that seemed clean enough was sushi from Japan. I have had indigestion daily since returning and I think I may start living on yogurt or go vegan. And someone else tonight told me she had had to go practically vegan post living in places with less industrialized food.

  6. la redactora

    In rural New England the food is relatively fresh–especially if you can pay more, are a member of a CSA or food co-op, garden, etc. But, I have noticed that in East Coast cities no matter how much you spend the food is still sort of rotting on the shelf, even in places like Whole Foods or Trader Joes. And the lower you go class and price wise, the worse it is.

    My recommendation is yes, lots of yogurt. And I don’t know if you like it, but miso soup (the white variety, like you get as an appetizer at run of the mill sushi restaurants) with some grated ginger has always perked me up after lots of traveling.

  7. Z

    Yes, this is the thing — rotting on the shelves, even in “better” stores. In coastal California, if you go to a good (not necessarily expensive) store it is not like this. But here, it is. OK, yogurt and yes, miso soup with ginger, I like it. Is the white one the best for one? I can start making it various ways — so I will live on vegetable soup with miso base and yogurt, this is actually not a bad plan. :-)

    • la redactora

      Well, white is the mildest, easiest on the stomach, and is more versatile and compatible with a variety of flavorings. Once you start going darker it can taste more like vegemite or bovril than anything I would want to eat in a soup, and it becomes saltier. I do not think there is any significant health difference among the different kinds though.

      • la redactora

        One last thing–you shouldn’t boil miso, as boiling kills off the bacteria and it is meant to be probiotic.

  8. Z

    Yes — I used to make these thick vegetable soups, and put it in at the end. But if you have a lot of flavors, some of the stronger misos can actually be good. I am going to go back to all of this, and yogurt; I can get good eggs from the nests so this combination of things will be my food. It will be healthful and will also save money.

  9. Pingback: Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion « Clarissa's Blog

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