Monday, June 18, 2012

Why Can't We All Get Organic?

For the first time in a long time, I went along on the Sunday afternoon grocery trip to Hannaford. I wanted to see firsthand where all the week’s food came from. I’d heard rumors of a brightly-lit place with pushcarts and cashiers, now I can report such a place does exist. We have a pretty consistent schedule at my house. Dinner at home: Sun-Weds, Pizza Night on Thurs, then out to eat on the weekends. However, both our schedules are about to change for a few months (for the better), so that could shake things up a bit.

Anyway, I went along to Hannaford, and the new thing around my house is eating organic. Everything has to be “hormone free” or “meatless meat” or “grain fed.” It occurred to me yesterday as I walked up and down the aisles, sent on some errand to get sage or all natural cinnamon squares, isn’t it possible that "they" (whoever they are) just slap the same old meats and cheeses and cinnamon squares inside boxes that say “organic” or “all natural” and charge oh-so-healthy people a few extra dollars? When in fact it’s the same exact slop we’ve been eating since our Hamburger Helper days?

You have to understand my Hannaford. And I guess after one day, I’m claiming I understand it. The whole store is filled with young, good–looking women (family women) in workout clothes doing the shopping. Everyone seems to be really worried about living well, which is great. But this organic thing could be the greatest scam going. How do you really know if eggs are “hormone free” or if the meat you’re buying comes from “grain-fed” livestock? How do you actually know? There’s no way you can.

Enough was enough! I demanded answers on this, and sought out the store manager for a little unexpected Father’s Day interrogation. I demanded to see proof of this organic thing he so widely claimed across his store. I told him I was a Troy Record Blogger, and would not leave until he told me the truth. I was promptly ejected from the store by security. But today I did talk to someone who worked for Price Chopper a few years back. He told me when the ground beef came in, they’d just tag half of it “hormone free” or “grain fed” or whatever and leave the other half as regular beef. But guess what? It was all the same.

I don’t know if this organic thing is for real or not. But I do know this: My mother never brought home “grain fed” meat or “all natural” fruit snacks, unless Fruit Rollups were all natural. And I’ll tell you another thing: These organic meatless-meats are doubling our weekly grocery bill. But now I’ll tell you a third thing(hush hush). I love the meatless stuff just the same as chuck wagon meats and still-mooing steaks. What can I say? It’s good. It’s probably just steak in a different box, but half of feeling healthy is feeling good I guess.

Now I leave you with the words of the late, great Rodney King: "Why can't we all get organic?" RIP, King Man.

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Brian Huba

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