When I get sick, the only things I can stomach are Ritz crackers, ginger ale and sherbet. That’s right. I don’t eat organic crackers, raw ginger and sugar-free sorbet. The goods I can eat without feeling queasy are three processed foods.
I’ve wondered if there is something special about these foods that makes me able to eat them when all else fails. Is it because they are simple foods that are easy to digest? Is there some magic ingredient that calms my otherwise repulsed stomach? Or, am I able to eat these foods because of tradition? I remember drinking ginger ale and eating Ritz crackers when I was home sick from Elementary school. In fact, the only time we ever bough ginger ale, it seemed, was when someone was sick. That’s the same for the Wetzels today; we only buy ginger ale when there’s a cold keeping someone home.
Frankly, I don’t care if the food literally helps me, or if it’s just placebo food. As long as I believe I can eat it, and it tastes good enough to not make me nauseous, I will continue to patronize these three culinary standbys throughout the years.
As I learned more about industrial food in the past few years and became disgusted with some of the grievous practices of big corporations, especially big meat corporations, I was faced with a dilemma: I knew I could never purchase food the same way, but I also knew I could never super-impose my convictions onto others. I knew I could never be that person who would refuse to eat the main course as a guest “because the chickens never saw the sun” or “because those vegetables were shipped halfway across the world, polluting the environment.” It’s always been more important to me to be open and humble with people. Real food is important, but real people are more important.
So what do you do?
It’s important in life to remember that we all have foods (like Ritz crackers) that we keep around, even if they aren’t the most “real foods” available. What we have to keep in mind is that we can eat better, and eating better is better for us, but purifying our food choices will never purify our souls. We are people. We live with people. And we will eat a myriad of things that each other may not approve of.
My advice? When you pay for the food you eat, eat the best you can. Be generous with your food, as well as your thoughts and feelings about the food you choose to eat. Be open to listening to other people’s thoughts and feelings about their own food; you will learn more about the real people in your life that way.
And, when you’re sick, try the Ritz cracker / ginger ale / sherbet combo. I swear. It’s magic.
(Clockwise, from the eggs)
6 Corn on the Cob
2 Jalapeño Peppers (one green & one red)
6 Red Potatoes
Broccoli (with the greens)
Unidentified greens (I forgot to ask!)
(In the middle)
2 Eggplants (see the one with the silly looking “nose”!?)
Head of Garlic
*Many thanks to Stephen Proctor for help taking the photo this week. (I really need to figure out which moving box my camera is packed in…or go buy a new one!)