Contributed by Duncan Fremlin Broker RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd.
Douglas Coupland, Canada’s renaissance man, wrote recently that he misses his ‘pre-internet brain’. He goes on to reflect that in fact, “he can’t remember his pre-internet brain”.
It made me think how much I miss my pre-food-awareness brain, when I simply ate whatever I wanted with no consideration of potential long-term damage. Unlike Mr. Coupland, I do remember my pre-food-awareness brain and I’m striving to rediscover the pleasure of mindless, spontaneous and joyful eating.
I don’t mean to harp about rural life in the 1950s and ‘60s, but our relationship with food then was much more immediate. We went to the corner store and if they had yeast, dad would make bread. If they had macaroni, mom would make macaroni and tomatoes. That’s how it went. Peanut butter came in a pail and everything was sweetened with corn syrup. Grapefruit, if we happened to be in a city store, was available once a year.
Somewhere along the way, we learned that our well being is connected directly to our food consumption. One of the first major media storms I recall on this front was about pasteurization. Milk was, and still is in my household, one of the most consumed food products every day. While drinking milk from a cow’s teat (well, not directly) had its conveniences and charm, the taste of warm raw milk was never considered to be a delicacy. Somewhere, sometime, pasteurization became the norm and then, if memory serves me correctly, homogenization soon followed. The layer of cream that sat on top of a glass milk jug disappeared and the stores began to sell cream separately.
Slowly, in subsequent years, each food item was analyzed and studied to death and frankly, my head spins when I think of how bad pretty much everything is for us. I read somewhere that if you eat an entire pail of Jack & Jill peanut butter in one sitting, your blood will stop flowing and you will die a slow and glorious death.
The values espoused in 2014 around food products seem to be based on one simple premise — if it tastes awful, it must be good for you!
- Kale: No thanks. Some think it’s delicious if you bake it and call it kale chips. Simply not true.
- Brussels Sprouts: Nope. Bitter and causes gas. Try covering it with corn syrup. Might help.
- Liver: No need to expand on why this food is to be avoided. The reasons are legendary.
- Avocado: I call this the “unfood.” No flavour and a mushy/gooey-like texture when ripe.
- Eggplant: Some add this to Italian veal sandwiches. I agree it is a good filler.
Those are some of the biggies. I could go on and on in the condiment department … Dijon mustard and flavoured ketchup are two that come to mind but I won’t belabour the subject.
As my 80-year old friend Ron says, our “runway is getting shorter.” Part of the fun of reaching the end of the proverbial runway is not knowing how it’s going to end. I do know one thing: there will be a culinary smile on my face when my time comes and I won’t have spoiled my last years eating rubbish.
Duncan Fremlin is a Broker with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd,
www.morethanahome.ca email: firstname.lastname@example.org 416-405-8828