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Posts Tagged ‘sporks’

For me, eating sustainably or locally or whatever you want to call it, seems to be one steps forward and two steps back. So, for example, on  Saturday morning we went to the Farmer’s Market in Inwood. Then when we were done, we went to Costco’s.

The case of the missing wheat berries
Last weekend, when I got home from the market, I unpacked only to find that I was missing the wheat berries and black beans I’d bought. I was pretty upset, and wracked my brains wondering where they could be, until I realized that I’d probably lost  them or left them behind. So, this week, I was super psyched because the girl form the CP Organics grains and flour stall remembered that I had been so busy talking about recipes that I’d forgotten to take my black beans and my wheat berries. We also picked up some Freekeh, roasted green spelt, apparently used in Middle Eastern cooking.

I was happy to learn that what the  containers that held the grains and beans were actually not plastic but were made out of corn and were compostable. In fact, I was told they would disintegrate in the sun. And, I was really happy to learn that Hudson Valley Farmhouse said they would take back the plastic containers after my kids demolish their tri-colored pasta.

“Great,” John said. “That’s more garbage we can hang on to.”

“No, that’s more garbage that we don’t  have to put in the landfill.”

When we were done with the Farmer’s Narket, we went to Costco’s.

I know that it seems odd and maybe even slightly deranged to hit Costco’s since I am obsessing about garbage, but since I have not given up the kids food  and I needed kids food — mostly grated cheese and bananas —  and cleaning supplies.(Costco’s has some Kirkland brands that claim to be environmentally friendly.)   My justification was that there has to be some value in buying in bulk — even if that bulk creates garbage, the amount of garbage has to be less.

Lots of samples, lots of garbage
When Costco’s first opened my parents used to joke that they went there partly for shopping and partly for lunch. Well, it was around noon, and as my belly rumbled, I heard my mother’s words of wisdom. We walked the aisles of the store and as we weighed the environmental impact of watermelon from South Carolina (which we bought) or  a 25 lb bag of Basmati rice from the Himalayas in the super cool burlap bag (which we didn’t), we nibbled.

By the time we had made it to the middle of the store, we had accumulated 3 sporks each. Then, when we got to the sample of the coleslaw with dried cranberries, I asked the sample lady.

“Would you mind not giving me a fork with my sample?”

She looked confused, but she was happy to comply — for both of us.

By the time we had reached the checkout, we had accumulated 6 flimsy white plastic, sporks, and close to 20 little paper cups. We were full. but we had made a whole lot of garbage. And true to Costco’s brand promise, it was a bargain — in fact it was free.

Just say no — to baked beans

We’d skipped the baked beans sample since it came in styrofoam.

“Tell your distributor that they missed a possible sale,” I said to the boy handing out the baked beans. “Because I didn’t taste their product because the sample was in styrofoam.”

The boy stared blankly back at me, wondering if he should even bother to pretend to care about what I was saying. Eventually he nodded, and I moved on.

Here we go again. The kid food issue.

I’ve built kids who are used to eating a certain way. They like that way. They have no interest in changing.   Last night for dinner, John and I had grilled tofo with asparagus pesto on a bed of quinoa. The kids had pasta.

I said, “I can’t believe I have kids who will only eat kid food. If I had fed you what we ate from the beginning, I wouldn’t be a short order cook.”

“You should have done that Mommy,” Blaise agreed.

“It’s not too late,” John said.

“Well then we just wouldn’t eat,” Zane said.

“You’d get hungry,” I pointed out.

“It’s illegal not to feed your kids,” he tried.

“I am going to feed you. I’m just going to feed you good, healthy food.”

Blaise looked anxiously at me trying to figure out if I was serious. But Zane was ignoring me. He  took a happy bite of his Hudson Valley Farmhouse pasta. It was made with beets, spinach and pastured eggs. It was even local.  It was our common ground food.

“Can I have some more?” he asked.

“Sure,” I said. And we changed the subject. At least for now.

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