Really, truly, desperately starving. Craving for food. Dying for real food.
During my previous US trips I was a convenient tourist with dine-outs, hotel breakfasts; absolutely negligent towards the food-factor in my days.
But I am not a tourist now: I have no room-service, no fancy-shmancy table preparations. I am a New Yorker now. Yeah, I know what you think: how could you be after a month?! I tell you how: I want it badly. So I am out there like a mesmerized little kid seeking, digging, doing. And this mesmerized state of mind is not different when it comes to feed my flat but hungry tummy.
The first week passed in blissful ignorance; after-all, the hectic streets and never ending events seemed more interesting than nutrition lists or sleeping hours, for that matter. But overcoming some shaky health issues lately, I needed to talk to my higher-self and we both came to the conclusion that Starbuck’s vanilla latte and 2 bucks pizza slices will not help me to last long.
But why not? Why do I have to bother with food? – asked my little childish self raising a valid point I need to admit.
Because it is better to prevent than to cope, remember? – said the motherly caring higher-self.
This is how I ended up at the ridiculously expensive Whole Foods, the great price-value Trader Joe’s, the iconic Zabar, my local Hispanic led Food Market (where I am lucky if I find an English label on my food) or the likewise local A&P (which I love because it overlooks Manhattan).
So you can’t say I am not trying. But, God, I am starving!
I also tried familiar brands (dannon activia), not so familiar brands (tribe hummus), organic and nobody’s knows where they are from kind of foods. By the way the main visible difference between and organic cranberry and the second option is plus 1 dollar.
Once again, I am trying, but…
If you are reading my scream for help from the US you will understand what I am about to say, but if you are from my country you will probably have no idea what the following three letters stand for: GMO.
I help you before you start google it: GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organsim.
Sounds like a great chemical lesson, right? The only problem is that you eat this something.
So, here is why I am starving:
It’s not only that nothing tastes the same (I am big and travelled enough to handle pickiness) but also, when you realize that what you think you are eating is actually absolutely not what you think you are eating; well, then you just need to sit down.
Here is what is happening: an outrageously large amount of food is GMO processed, thus it looks how it should, perhaps even smells how it should, but God! you are eating a some sort of modified organism. Yes, you heard it well ‘modified‘!
However, I look it just doesn’t look good.
What do you think?
Real example here I come: anything that has corn base is most probably GMO product, a seemingly charming zucchini is most probably GMO (= it is not a zucchini, it is a zucchini zombie) and the line goes on and on for all food products.
But hey, there is good news: avocado, for instance are too challenging for GMO hubby, so it is most probably safe to eat.
What would a naive Hungarian girl do after discovering GMO?
But of course, study it deeply. Though opinions are controversial, nobody will ever convince me that GMO is OK. GMO is at best case makes me say OMG!
According to my studies, 75% of the food that an American family would eat is actually no real food. According to my studies, most American don’t really care about this fact. According to my studies, sitting in a restaurant and believing to be safe is an absolute nonsense. According to my studies, there is hardly anything to do against it, since its too profitable to some – and no, those surely don’t eat GMO.
So between two starving attacks I also found out that there is no regulatory cover for labels – coming from Europe and from an organization dealing with EU regulatory matters – I needed to sit down again. I found that there are attempts to ensure transparency, but until it is not an obligation you are not safe.
What is the solution then?
Eating healthy (and under this I don’t mean a dietetically confirmed personalized daily nutrition menu, but simply trying to eat food with meanings) is the most challenging activities of my New York persona.
Here are five challenging points:
- If you are budget cautious, and who isn’t in New York, then you have to decide: MOMA entrance ticket or organic food products.
- If you opt for organic, you most probably have to go further than your comfort zone, and take a subway or two to reach an organic food store (which means a way back fully packed is the dream of all solo girls)
- If you happen to find an organic store, you still need to check label and opt for those few, which specifically verify NON-GMO product, otherwise, you just can’t be sure.
- If you really want to eat healthy, it will take a lot of thinking time, commuting time and a deeper reach into your pocket when you get to the check-outs
- If you decide to dine out, you can look for organic restaurants or you have to ask the waiters, chefs what kind of products they use. Don’t get fooled by the healthy Caesar salad: your crunchy chicken breast and fresh salad might be all GMO. OMG!
But I realized the bottom line is that if I want to eat healthy I will just go nuts simultaneously.
So, once again, the sweet golden rule is applicable:
Though I am trying to reduce GMO foods, (and giving up one or two galleries in order to pay the plus 1 dollar per products) I do eat a 2 bucks pizzas from time to time.
But, God, I am starving! For real tastes, real food, healthy food. I am starving for knowing what I eat. I am starving for eatable food.
I wonder if my grandparents would actually be able to comprehend what I am talking about at all. Oh, those walks in their garden, a cherry here, a raspberry there, a tomato here and a cucumber there… Those did not need labeling and I was certainly not starving…
As my closing statement, I am asking for your help – eating my dinner that did not end up to be tasteful, once again I noticed the following:
The ingredients of Trader Joe’s cottage cheese are the followings: pasteurized skim milk, nonfat dry milk, salt, grade A whey, grade A lactose, titanium dioxide, guar gum, carrageenan, citric acid, locust bean gum, lactic acid, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, cultured grade A slim milk, vitamin d3, vitamin A palmitate, enzymes.
The ingredients of Hungarian cottage cheese are the followings: cottage cheese (how surprising, isn’t it?)
So my question is: is this for real? … and I even paid the plus 1 dollar to feel healthy…
TO BE CONTINUED…