If you’ve spent much time in a grocery store lately, it may occur to you that no one seems to eat real food anymore. Aside from the ever-narrowing display cases of fresh produce, meat, and seafood, there are endless rows of prepared foods in the frozen, dairy, and even more mysteriously, the non-refrigerated sections of the grocery store.
New items appear daily to tempt us into joining the dark side- the slippery slope if you will, of heat and eat. I must admit, I do desire, though am conflicted about, the fully prepared rice dishes and enchiladas at Trader Joe’s. I ask myself, “how hard is it to make some rice and add a few veggies and spices?” Oh, but the wrapping is so lovely (and the thought of dinner in minutes).
But I digress…back to the fake food. The following is a list of items that have made their way into my household mostly by way of my indiscriminate husband who does the bulk of our grocery shopping, and takes on these foods like a new lover. Often I find them in the refrigerator or lining our basement storage shelves staring at me from their over-packaging:
- Mandarin oranges (can we really call this fruit?)
- Gogurt (I believe this is a liquid form of cotton candy-I think Cotton Candy is actually one of the flavors)
- Shrek cereal (giant size Shrek heads made out of marshmallow-need I say more?)
- Easy mac (was regular mac all that hard?)
- French toast sticks
- Frozen Skyline chili
- Frozen guacamole (????)
- Mandarin oranges suspended in orange jello
- Bob Evans egg and biscuits (he didn’t even have a coupon!)
- Fully cooked bacon (this is grounds for divorce)
I can’t believe my husband and I exist in the same universe sometimes, let alone raise two small children together. But seriously, these are among the mildest of examples of the levels people will stoop to avoid cooking or preparing food altogether. I have seen, though thank God, my husband hasn’t purchased, fully prepared peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Are there people that lazy? I wonder if this is so kids can just feed themselves. Even so, most three year olds can spread some peanut butter and jelly between two pieces of bread.
Maybe there needs to be an organization started to save real food-to prevent the fall of civilization-a La Leche league of real food advocates. How long until someone thinks it’s a good idea, maybe when we use up all the land that used to be fields for growing food, to create some fake version of apples or spinach or other raw foods. My fear is that we’ll we walk around years from now saying, remember oranges, remember peeling an orange, and our kids will look at us like we said, remember eight tracks.
Jayne, cheers to your husband for doing the grocery shopping, even if the results are horrid. Also there is a food movement out there trying to save us and themselves from such trama. www.slowfood.com
Turns out that the big push for 0 trans fat foods has also given fake foods a boost. I was just reading that chains like Starbucks want to be able to boast "0 trans fats" on all baked products. So, their bakers are having to turn away from real butter and milk (which have traces of naturally occurring trans fats -- different from the ones that result from partial hydrogenation that cause a health concern -- too complicated to explain to the average consumer, though, so out they go). In their place, many are using "0 trans fat margarine." And who KNOWS what that might have in it...
I sooo agree with you. How hard can it be to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or to boil rice with a few veggies thrown in? I must confess though - I have used some of these products that you mentioned once or twice before realizing the absurdity of it (ready-made PB&J sandwiches, Easy Mac, mandarin orange slices) or before my daughter rejected them because they just didn't taste like the "real" thing.
By the way - first time on your blog. Followed a link from CTWorkingMom's blog. I shall definitely be back!
Thanks for reading the blog and commenting "gettingtherenow". We love to hear from our readers!
As for fake food, my favorite unmentioned item is fruit snacks. I love how the manufacturers have gotten away with convincing mom's that they are fruit and healthy. Sure, they get a few drops of juice per box, but really just a sip of juice would be so much better. We treat them like candy at our house, since that is what they are, well marketed candy.
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