Food and The Back To The Land Movement

We have found that an astonishingly wide variety of food items contain BHA or BHT or both, so I can only conclude that most of my countrymen subsist on the stuff. They are hooked. The sole advantage of preservatives to the consumer, it seems, is that he can now save money by buying day-old or month-old baked goods and be certain that they will taste like cold putty no matter their birthday. We did spend a goodly part of the harvest season giving away all the fruits and vegetables we couldn’t use to city people (old friends and family) who freaked on what a tomato, or a peach, really is. The middle-aged and elderly ones remembered; the
young ones learned. One and all reflected on how sinister and subtle the Dead Food craze came on, how you didn’t notice it taking over until it was too late. The old Victory Garden thing may be in for a revival, friends, but I suspect it will reach only a marginal part of the population, the others will be too busy at the shop or office, dump DDT or other chemical killers on their crop, or be afraid to eat an ear of corn that’s white, a tomato with a hole in
it, a carrot with dirt on it. Tough luck for them what think it’s Easier to go to the sooperdooper and get those nice clean apples wrapped in cellophane, uniform in size and shining like mirrors, the kind I have never seen growing on any tree. How about you?

From Total Loss Farm, A Year in the Life- online with other books by the same author here.

This has changed to some degree- in most big cities you can get organics, you can get rich, flavorful whole wheat breads for not even very much money, and you can get foods that don’t taste like putty. Here in my part of the midwest, puttied starch is the preferred texture and flavor of the masses, who have hearts of gold, are the salt of the earth, and a favored delicacy is a baked potato topped with homemade noodles (white flour, natch) and gravy. Usually served with corn or potato chips on the side.

But I do remember when getting unbleached flour was a big deal, and now it’s standard fair. I do remember when whole wheat bread was a ‘new’ thing and my friends thought my mom was weird because we ate it in lunch sandwhiches. I do remember when every church potluck salad featured jello and vegetarians not part of mainstream life. I think there’s a lot to regret about the sixties, but I do appreciate being able to buy raw, organic honey at the market, as well as fifty pound bags of organic oats for .68 a pound through our co-op.

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One Comment

  1. B. Durbin
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    We have Trader Joe’s here on the west coast, and I kid you not, the founder deliberately targeted “the overeducated and underpaid” when he started it. The upshot is that you get really good food pretty darned cheap… but you do have to be careful about the ingredients.

    Take the tasty organic banana chips. Organic, yes, but an appalling amount of fat in them from being fried in coconut oil! Oh well. Their tortillas have recently grabbed me as a 1000% improvement on the standard store ones, and they don’t even have lard in them, just safflower oil.

    I’m glad you can get good produce deep in the Midwest. I grew up in California and took it for granted until I moved away, and now that I’m back I really appreciate it. (Though apparently it’s not the fact that it’s California, it’s the fact that the grocery chain that says “Famous for fine produce” really means that.)

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