Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Leftovers & a Movie: Food, Inc.

Last night was 'leftover night.' We finished the lamb - it was still quite flavorful. For a side dish, I sliced the last tomato, sliced the leftover cucumber, washed and chopped the leftover basil, crumbled the last bit of crumbly white cheddar cheese, and drizzled balsamic syrup over it all. A delicious 'salad.'I decided to roast last week's CSA potatoes. I didn't use olive oil on the potatoes because we have a brand new, HUGE, unopened bottle from Costco and I didn't trust myself to not spill it all over so I used a bottle of flavored olive oil that my mom bought when she was here (she likes to drizzle flavored olive oil on her salads for dressing).

I also sprinkled the potatoes with rosemary, parsley, black pepper, and a wee bit of salt. The potatoes tasted OK - not horrible, just not as tasty as other roasted potatoes we've made.

SP used up the CSA kale. He made 'kale chips' - just coat the kale leaves in olive oil and bake.

After cleaning up from dinner and dividing our CSA veggies with Googer, SP and I settled on the couch with hot tea & Halloween candy and watched Food, Inc. The movie examines America's industrialized food system and its effect on our environment, health, economy, and workers' rights.

This was a very good movie. It was a bit depressing. And worrisome. There's a lot to this film - Monsanto and its patented soybean, genetically engineered chickens, the huge role of corn in our foods, health (obesity/diabetes) & environmental effects of our food, government (lack of) regulation, food illness such as E.coli, workers in factories and their risks and rights, and so much more.

There wasn't anything new to me in the film, but seeing the movie is still an eye (re)opener. Definitely worth seeing.

Will it change the way I eat? Probably not in any huge way, but maybe in some small way. SP and I already belong to a CSA and try to eat/buy locally and seasonal. I think we're doing pretty good with a balance between healthy/responsible food choices versus the cost of food (organic meats cost much more than the farmed meats) but of course we will readily admit we could do better with our food choices.

Can everyone eat this way (healthy, organic)? No. As the film makes clear, those with lower incomes simply cannot afford organic foods or sometimes even healthy foods like apples. It's cheaper for many people to grab a fast food hamburger instead of apples from a grocery store. That bothers me. Something needs to change.

I look at our veggie bin full of CSA goodies plus fruits and veggies from Costco and Giant Eagle, our freezer full of tilapia and chicken and frozen veggies, our yogurts and teas and lemons and multi-grain breads -- it makes me feel sad and a bit guilty that there are those who cannot afford to eat the way we eat and we don't even eat as healthy as we could. After seeing the movie, I am almost (but not quite) appalled at how we eat!


  1. Do you have any thoughts on Costco vs Sam's? I've considered joining one of the two, if for no other reason than the produce, but I'm not sure if it would be worth the money for the options available.

  2. As I understand it, Costco is an 'upscale' Sam's but I've never been to Sam's. We find Costco totally worth it. We get our vitamins (Centrum & OsCal), paper towels, toilet paper, olive oils & vinegars there. Googer is there almost every day and he buys tons of fruits/veggies there, like Asian pears, mango, papaya, huge containers of blueberries, honeycrisps. We've gotten amazing tomatoes there (in season) and buy the big containers of mixed greens for salads, not to mention the big jars of kalamatas, green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers. They have a decent cheese area (smoked gouda, champagne cheddar, crumbly white cheddar, fresh mozzarella, feta). We get my Tropicana OJ, Dannon yogurt, and Thomas' English muffins, Hellman's mayo there - things I eat every day. SP gets his multi-grain breads for lunch there. The prices on roasting chickens, pork tenderloins, even hot dogs are much better than G.Eagle. I even got my flat screen TV there - SP & Googer did tons of research and since Costco had the one I wanted, I got it there. SP got his XBox & Nintendo DS there - I don't pay much attention, but I think Costco's return policy/warranty on such items is extremely good. They also have small & large appliances, clothing, furniture, computers... if only they could sell wine/booze/beer! We share Googer's membership. I think your own membership would be worth it, but if you can share the membership with a friend or family and even split some of what you buy (because it is in bulk!!) it is definitely worth it. Check out this site for more on Costco:

  3. I liked hearing what you had to say about Food Inc. I still have yet to see it but I really want too! It's good to know it's a bit depressing..the worst is watching a sad movie and not expecting it to be sad.

  4. Definitely see it, Haylee, but we warned that it might really change the way you eat! (There wasn't really anything in it we didn't already know, but seeing it all in one place as a unified message, was still very striking).

    Human, Costco is definitely worth it. I believe Sam's and Costco both offer free "One Day Passes" if you ask at the membership desk. It'll get you in the door to look around, and then if you DO buy anything without the full membership they'll just charge you 10% extra. Depending on what you're getting, that might be a good option if the item is priced well compared to a non-membership store, without paying the full membership fee.

    Sam's Club is owned by Wal-Mart, and when I was a member (before Costco moved into the Pittsburgh area) I felt, well, shall we say the clientelle at Sam's definitely had a lot in common with Wally-World...