Originally Posted by SpamSandwich
Eating 'real' is a choice in America too. If you care to visit your local Whole Foods, Sprouts or many other so-called natural/organic foods markets you can largely avoid the processed foods wormhole.
First of all, we don't call it whole paycheck for nothing. It's not really a choice if you can't afford it. In fact, that's the really sad thing; with-in 2 generations supermarket food and the stuff you'd buy at the farmers market have switched roles, the former now the budget item while the latter is the luxury item.
Second, in NYC we have a greenmarket (farmer's market) operating up the street from the Union Square whole foods. After shopping at the farmer's market whole food's produce doesn't look so tasty. Today natural and organic is just a marketing term, denoting gropwing practices around pesticides and fertilizers. (Twenty years ago there was a relationship with taste and freshness in some foodstores, but even then it was tentative--I'm thinking SF Realfoods in the mid to late 80s)
But wait, even some of that produce at the farmer's market looks a whole lot more manafactured than it did back in the 60s. I remember the time when tomatoes came in funny shapes--now they call those "heirlooms", and the red ones are square. The corn has changed also, as they attempt to create strains that have enough sugar to retain sweetenss for a few days, or even a week. Peaches are less seeet, probably to improve shelf life. Now the strawberries--I wouldn't buy them in any commerical grocery, although I imagine some food lovers stores still exist in various pockets of the country
PS When I was in Europe last Spring I heard the refrain over and over (in Poland no less, not a country known for it's great food): American food is horrible, especially the fruits and vegetables. Our food has been doctored for so long, we no longer have the standard bearers to compare it with.