When you view, and I hope cook along with, one of my video recipes you will notice that I have boring basic ingredients you can find at most grocery stores in the US. There are a couple of spices or items that are a little exotic, but 1] I point them out and 2] they are rare.
I cannot stand the game many folks who want to be earth-friendly play that I call, “How Vegan are You?”
Have you ever been in a conversation with intelligent, nice people, and then someone says, “I had those new black bean burgers at a barbecue last week.” Then someone else says, “That company is owned by ConAgra.” Then some other brilliant conversationalist chimes in with, “Well, actually the original owners sold out to ConAgra to start an animal sanctuary in Tahiti when feral snakes are being rounded up for boots made by exploited child workers in Asia.” And finally, this gal pipes up with a piece of info she has been trying to inject into a chatter of healthy, holistic, horse manure for a month, “Yes, but the owners are cutting down palm trees to make way for the animal sanctuary and displacing the local farmers creating an economic crisis for most of the surrounding island population. Didn’t you get the email and sign the petition?”
Now the guy that mentioned the new burgers decided to try something other than the planet-killing, artery clogging death slabs or so called by his veggie-fascist sister-in-law who will only graze on his lawn for “real foods” at family get-togethers. So, do you think he is ever going to mention or try anything remotely like that again?
Look kids, you may eat chia seeds for your health, but the carbon footprint on them is enormous if you live on the eastern seaboard. Same goes for agave nectar. Where I live maple syrup is made a couple of miles away. That’s what I buy. Okay, that is not all I buy, but it is the major sweetener in my foods. The people who process the sap have never sang Kumbaya and do not dye their own t-shirts. I shop at the local grocery store which has an organic section and some other organic products. My priority is to tell them that my dollars will support local farmers and local produce. Please bring me more so I can purchase more here in town.
Most of the folks who live around me do not make 6-figure incomes. And they are the ones using much of our healthcare dollars because they do not understand what foods are readily available, healthy, cheap and easy to make. And they don’t have a personal chef to do it for them. Until recently, insurance coverage did not include nutrition counseling. Now it does, at least a few times a year with a registered dietitian. These low 5-figure folks were my target audience when I started making my videos and teaching cooking classes. There are lots of customers at the “Wholier than thou” shopping extravaganzas, but I am looking for volume to change our national health needs. That’s who will tip the balance of power in the food processing and marketing sector.
So, I lift my cheap, non-snazzy can of seltzer to all the ShopRite, Aldi, Piggly Wiggly, Hy-Vee, Food Lion, Food Chopper, Kroger, Albertson, Fred Meyer, Meijer, Tom Thumb, Sav-a-Lot folks who just need to know bean burgers are a great first step. Feel free to contact me when you’re ready for the next one. I’ll be grazing on the free organic stuff in your lawn.