I can’t believe the changes in how I see food my last two changes in food habit created. And I can’t believe how easy and cheap the changes were.
The changes were to buy a farm share, where I pick up fresh vegetables from a drop-off place near me each week, and the other was my two-and-a-half-week experiment not buying food where I had to throw away packaging after.
Each farm share shipment has enough vegetables for side dishes for a family for a week. Since I’m one person, I have to eat vegetables as main dishes every day to keep up with all these vegetables. I don’t have space for pasta, bread, and other filler. I was worried about not knowing what to do with the vegetables, but any vegetable with olive oil, garlic, onions, salt, and pepper as a last resort is pretty good.
Since the no-packaged-food experiment showed how easy cooking from raw and unpackaged is, I keep a constant supply of beans, nuts, sweet potatoes, and things like that on hand.
Today’s lunch, for example: Mung beans cooked with fresh thyme (I had to look up what the herb was called. It just came with the farm share and smelled amazing), olive oil, salt, and some hot sauce. On the side I had some fresh kohlrabi that I marinated in kimchi sauce. Total preparation time: about ten minutes—less time than it would take to walk to a restaurant. I put the beans to soak overnight, put them in the rice cooker / vegetable steamer / miracle appliance with the oil, thyme, and salt when I woke up so they cooked while I showered and did my morning burpees, and then packed them. Almost no work, nearly free, healthy, delicious, and convenient. And very little to throw away.
I ordered a burrito a little while ago without rice at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I asked them to put extra vegetables in, but they said they couldn’t because it was against their policy. I also got it without the shell. So they brought me half a plate of vegetables with some melted cheese. That’s what I’m making every day today but I’m not paying over ten dollars for it, it takes less time, the vegetables are healthier, and they taste better too.
The more I look at restaurant food, the more I see filler—bread, pasta, fries, ice in the drinks, etc. They usually work on decor and presentation, but I care about the food’s taste, nutritional value, and, if those are sufficient, quantity. Those criteria conflict with a restaurant’s profit, though. They want to sell alcohol and desserts most. They don’t want to give quantity on vegetables so they give it on filler. I don’t want quantity on foods I don’t want.
I know everyone knows this already, but these habit changes make me see it more viscerally.
Aren’t the two main points of a restaurant to give you better food than you could make yourself and less work? Fresh vegetables all the time beats most restaurants.
A friend took me to the Four Seasons restaurant. He was paying so cost didn’t matter. I’ll grant that the salad and main course were delicious and more delicate and creative than what I can do, but not life-changingly so. And the desserts were just sugar. Don’t get me wrong. If you invite me, I’ll go to a restaurant like that, but few restaurants are like that. Most detract from the deliciousness of the plants they’re starting with.
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