Food snobbery

I have been doing this blog well over a year now, a year and some change. I have talked about a fair amount of topics. It’s been a while but if you are a regular reader, you know I like food…a lot. I like good food and when the spirit moves me, I like, no love to cook. Sadly the spirit has not been moving me since my ass is struggling to just get past this month. I swear December is the culmination of all that plagues those living on the financial edge and yours truly gets to hear it all. By the time I get home, I have no energy to even think of providing nourishment to my family…thank goodness for a freezer stuffed with soups! As well as a few trusty inexpensive places to eat at when I need to eat out!

Anyhoo, in all the talk of good food, organic food, healthy food, it might be easy to assume that I fall into the food snob category. Well, it’s an easy mistake to make since it seems anyone who fits a certain criteria clearly would never eat junk food or feed it to their kid. Um….not at all.

In fact I was happy after a conversation with a local friend the other day where we were discussing the merits of chili dogs and it turned out we had both grown up eating chili dogs made with Hormel canned chili with no beans. Even now as adults, a proper chili dog at home needs to have Hormel’s canned chili at least for me. Yeah, I know how to make chili from scratch and in the cold weather months, I do it often. But when I feel the urge for a chili gog, I reach for the canned chili.

Now I know for some of my readers as well as some in my personal circle that probably sounds like a gross admission. I mean let’s face it canned foods really have a pretty bad reputation. Maybe it’s because of my work but I have to admit the growing trend towards food snobbery at times gets on my nerves. Yeah, its nice to have a lovely home cooked meal made from scratch with wholesome foods but in a time when so many are struggling to just put food in their bellies, I can’t get worked up on what people eat. Let’s face it sometimes it’s just not financially feasible for some to eat healthy. It’s funny because we live in a time when it’s frankly more costly to eat healthy than it is to simply eat. As I have developed my own cooking skills, while I find cooking to be relaxing at times, fact is it often requires more, not just in cash, but in time and tools, things that some lack.

Recently I was in a discussion where someone asked why would anyone use creamed soups when they can make them? Good question. My guess is because it’s a time-consuming endeavor, I like creamed soups and make them often, but if I was making a meal that required a creamed soup, I’d probably use a canned soup instead of making it from scratch. Unless I had one already in my freezer, leftover from a previous meal.

I am a big believer in moderation. Now a steady diet of canned unwholesome foods is bad for you, yet at times it seems that those of us who admit to liking less than healthy foods tend to be seen an unenlightened bunch. The fact is anything can be bad for you, I have met too many vegetarians who frankly were not healthy eaters.

The thing is when you look down or make judgements on folks based off what they eat, what purpose does it serve? Food is a deeply personal thing, many of our attitudes and thoughts on food are shaped by our childhood and while many of us may change the way we eat as adults (hello…I am a Black woman with southern roots, fried chicken, fried fish, collard greens cooked in pork products anyone?), sometimes even the healthiest, most organic eating folks still have appetites for things based off our youth.

While I have no problem with anyone eating a certain way, it’s when we use food as a means to judge and look down at others which is not cool.

Sneaking food..the hypocrite Mommy

Back when elder boy was born almost 17 years ago, I was still young and dumb and there was no internet to tap into for parenting advice. Yeah, there were parenting books but compared to nowadays where we are on information overload, I relied on the advice of my Mom, Granny and then Mama-in-law to guide me with parenting plus my own instincts.

Needless to say I didn’t get in a huff about what baby boy ate, he ate what I could afford, sometimes it was good shit and sometimes well, not so good. As you can imagine having baby girl though as a college edumacated real adult who was pretty much into information overload, I told spousal unit 3 years ago when she was born that I wanted her only eating healthy food. Her first food was avocado slices which she promptly spit out, for her first birthday I was so concerned about only putting healthy natural goodies into her that she didn’t even get a birthday cake. No, I made zucchini muffins though I did allow a smidgen of ice cream.

Well in the past year, specifically the past several months I started easing up on my strict dietary regime when it came to mini-me. It started when she had a freeze-pop at a friend’s house, she liked it so I bought some for home. Shoot, I grew up with freeze-pops how bad could they be? Well it continued with her introduction to Mama’s secret stash of cold cereal specifically the Lucky Charms. This summer baby girl took to the unnatural dyes and quickly became hooked like most kids did. We tried to moderate but one thing I started noticing a few months ago is that whenever baby girl ate a freeze-pop or some Lucky Charms, she started acting crazy. I am talking crazy enough to make me wanna channel the spirit of my Pops who believed that beating a kid was the way to keep em in line. No, I didn’t but I sure wanted to, I suspect her crazy behavior has played a role in my puffing on more than a few butts a day as a way to keep sane.

Now mister hubby tried to tell me it was my imagination, that the food was not making her go nuts and that I was spending too much time reading the hippy dippy Mamas boards that I belong too. Well lets just say over the weekend he became a true believer and told me we must get rid of the junk. So Sunday night Papa Bear tossed out all her goodies (and some of mine too) leaving Mama with just the Frosted Flakes hidden behind the Cheerios, Raisin Bran and $5 box of cereal from the health food store which looks like shit flakes but boasts 6 grams of fiber.

Mini- me has not been happy but she is snacking a lot better on cucumbers and other good stuff, she did throw a rather large fit when I explained the junk went bye-bye but all in all she is managing. Which leads me to today, why was I dying for a bowl of cold cereal but had to wait three hours till nap time until I could eat my bowl of frosted flakes for lunch. For a moment I felt bad for sneaking forbidden food but times like this I remember that I am the boss and while I like to run a democratic household sometimes it just can’t be that way.  That cereal was sooo good. 

Parenting these days is definitely a trip and I am convinced that the goodies of our youth have been modified to create crazed kids because I swear cold cereal never made elder boy or myself buck-wild.