Sunday, February 11, 2007

Still crazy after all these years...

I came home from a trip to Ft Collins and the whole foods market the other day baffled at the changes that have been brewing in the whole foods arena for a few years but have exploded recently. I couldn’t believe that I had to really look at things and try to decide if it was really the product I wanted or just something in a pretty package claiming to be whole grain/organic. I mean sheesh, when I see no hormones or antibiotics added I’m like well, no s&*%… I am wondering more about what you were feeding the chicken BEFORE he made it into the butcher paper.

I read Diet for a Small Planet when I was about 14... And became a dedicated vegetarian for many years. I still have that leaning to be honest. And if I didn't fear that my family would slaughter me for dinner if they were deprived for too long I think I would still be a vegetarian. Now not because I like cute sweet little animals too much to eat them, or I bought into PETA's propaganda... But because the earth and our bodies were not meant to accommodate our over-indulgence in animal products. I have gotten away from the practice, but not the ideas. I guess no matter what the exterior changes to over the years I am still crunchy on the inside. Man, I make my own granola and serve my kids soy protein shakes for breakfast.

So what is my latest pet peeve in my pursuit of all naturalness??? The fact that the popularity of the idea has brought about a real nightmare in the natural food isles. What is "natural" and what does that label mean when you see it on a product? Can Wal-Mart really be trusted to produce a line or "organic" products? Is an organic oreo really healthy? Eating whole food requires a change. You can't just get organic whole grain McDonalds and call it good. You will have to eat things you may not have tried before. You will have to cook your rice longer... You might actually have to read a label.

The drive for more organic goods has not helped with quality or availability as much as it has brought a bunch of questionable wanna-be prepared foods into the arena. Now I am all for more people buying organic, but not if they are buying it for the same reason they are sporting their versace jeans. hmph.

Maybe we should institute armpit hair checks for truly crunchy people before they are allowed to shop at whole foods markets... What do you think? There could also be like screening questions. Do you know what millet is? Do you have your own bags to carry the groceries you are about to purchase? Have you ever shopped at a thrift store? And if they didn't pass you could send them to the psuedo-whole foods market where they sell the "organic" "whole grain" stuff that those big companies are producing to keep people happy. What do you think?


wayfarer said...

lol at the armpit checks and thrift store shopping. I'd only half pass but still a bonafide granola girl. :-)

UmmLayla said...

Hey, I'm not saying you have to pass them all Wayfarer... Just make a good faith effort;)

UmmZahra said...

man if I'm feelin you on this!! I think this new wave of "all natural" stuff is just playing as a trend. It really bothers me when I see shampoos/body care products that have a fraction (or less) of some essential oil that is organic & they label the product organic/natural. Who cares that the product is loaded w/ a million synthetic chemicals and junk.

Romer!can said...

Still, Whole Foods market is pretty cool, is it not? I know I slightly miss it (which is probably mistaken as most of the food here in Romania is probably organic, by default).

What interested me was that I became vegetarian at around 13 and faced some family rejection for my stand. However, unlike you, I relented in my decision around 18 or 19 upon realizing the glorious taste of chicken. Since then, I've increasingly eaten meat (although in far less variety and far less quantity than those who surround me).

Armpits? Yech!

UmmBadier said...

DId you read Fast Food Nation? Not so much about Fast Food as about the meat industry. Made it a little hard to continue eating meat. Alhumdiallah, my boys are beany boys. They tried to share a quesidialla wit a neighbor and he said "I don't eat beans. They make you fart." Saddly I know many adults that say the same they just have steak instead.
Aye, could you post your granola recipe? And while yer at you have a "bar" recipe? I tried to do some and they were soooooo dry!
I'm mostly off the organic train as I live in Alaska and fruit and veggies here are crazy expensive. I scoop up everything in the organic fridges when the have red sale stickers on 'em though! Especially dairy, I fear dairy! Maybe I should fear corn more!

Mona UmIbrahim said...

yah, it's a pain to have to check *organic* and *natural* products. but after a few time consuming trips of reading everything and deciding what is good then the next times you just grab it and go.

nuh ibn zbigniew gondek al kitab said...

As salaam alaikum.

Great blog. I'll be back to read more inshallah. I think my wife will love it too, I'll pass it on.

I write poems, essays, reflections and articles for a largely Muslim audience. Please come by when you have a chance to read.

Wa salaama,

nuh ibn

Umm Mai said...

As-salaam alaikum,
I do get annoyed that to live a simple life there is pressure to buy all these "simple" products. I guess I'm crunchy, but I think I'd fail the armpit check. (I need to call you).

Casey Umm Mai