Just remember to pack a lunch.
On a recent road trip along and down the eastern United States, I was amazed to see what my food choices were. I mean, I had realized I was out of my element and that there certainly were some wonderful places out there but without a way to find them, my diet was in a little jeopardy. I wanted to embrace my adventures, as I always do, I had an open mind. I didn’t think it could really be all that bad. Realistically, I didn’t expect to find all that wonderful of dining options right off the interstate highway but what I was surprised to see that even when venturing into neighboring towns, the good ‘ole Mom & Pop’s were still tough to track down.
A few of the chains had options, however upon serving they were often ladled with sauces or sprinkled with uninvited “bacanned” bits, for extra flavor. My best attempt for eating locally, even at a chain was surprisingly good, other than the unexpected requirement to remove the batter that covered just about every element of my beige meal. However taupe, beneath the batter, my okra was fresh, bright and delicious. I was hoping my future was looking brighter, even if it was hidden under a spattering of grease.
Beyond the orange juice machine, waking up in the dark began to take on a whole new meaning. Carbs, caffeine and fat were the highlight of my “Eat Here Free” breakfast. I suppose we all get what we pay for, right?
It’s amazing to me that in this current North American health and obesity crisis that more people wouldn’t choose to take a stand. Wholesome foods aren’t all that expensive, considering they are a lifeline. Although it is assured by government agencies or other wise that the less healthy, modified or other wise generic foods remain more readily available. It makes me wonder if they are without foresight or if they truly have some grand master plan. For some reason, through taste buds or pure laziness, we would rather stand by and take what we are fed, just like how we now feed our cattle. Sweet treats are great, I’ll be the first to say that, but for breakfast? When and how did we allow this to become the norm?
Doesn’t anyone other than the right wing, foodaholic types like me, recall documentaries like, Sicko, Supersize Me, or books like Omnivore’s Dilemma? Fast food outlets like McDonald’s have our addiction to fat and salt wrapped up. They’ve got it hot and ready to order all while they’re eating up single run shops struggling to compete; and we’re paying them to eliminate our choices.
Coffee line ups and a deep fried lunch have become the common American feed lots and we line up in drive thrus droves to the eat the slop.
Poor planning, plain hunger, on the road, vacation eating splurges? Sure. It’s just when the other choices are virtually eliminated, it’s difficult not to become nervous. What are we doing to ourselves? Where did the choices go? We are still in control. Or are we? It is just sad to think that until suitable options can be found we are better off just packing that lunch.