Do you ever have moments, as you go about your normal life, when you stop and think, “Holy shit, we are living in the future. How is this even real life?”
That happened to me during lunch today. I had planned on eating a Trader Joe’s “super burrito” (quinoa, sweet potatoes, and kale in a flour tortilla) with half an avocado, but I felt like something different. So I opened my fridge and surveyed my culinary kingdom: Greek yogurt, Italian prosciutto, French brie, half a dozen different kinds of produce (none of which grow within a 50 mile radius of my home), tofu, eggs, milk (cow’s, soy, and almond), and more.
There’s nothing lunch-y in here, I thought, moving on to the freezer. Frozen mangoes, pineapples, and strawberries, waffles, gelato, dumplings, pastry dough, and – BINGO – vegetarian, gluten-free, non-GMO prepared Indian food.
As I sat down with my piping hot paneer tikka masala, I thought about how easy it is to eat basically whatever I want, whenever I want. The availability of diverse, nutrient-dense foods in the developed world is incredible. For breakfast I had oatmeal with a banana (Guatemala), chia seeds (Paraguay), peanut butter (New Mexico), and dried cranberries (Canada), along with a cup of coffee. The beans were from Ethiopia. One simple meal, five countries. That’s crazy. And incredible.
I am so fortunate to live and eat the way I do. I have never experienced food insecurity. If I decide not to cook the groceries I bought for the week, I can just eat at a restaurant, or get take out, or delivery if I’m feeling particularly lazy. I have never lived in a food desert. There are three groceries stores within a few blocks of my apartment: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and a regular supermarket. There are a handful of specialty markets within driving distance. This is all perfectly normal.
For the first time since I moved to Illinois (which produces very different foods from California), I felt the need to reevaluate my dietary decisions to be more sustainable, economical, and judicious.
Because all this good fortune has to come with some responsibility, right?
The photo above is Thanksgiving dinner for me and Jay. I never thought twice about adding more items to the menu. Everything I wanted was readily available from the supermarket on Thanksgiving Day. Just…wow.