Unique New York

Just like a regular woman, only crankier.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Food For Thought

After one or two classes, I am really craving "me" time. I frequently accomplish this by driving to Taco Bell, and ordering two burritos. I understand that this is junk food, but I order it for two reasons: One is that it is nearly impossible to get good Tex-Mex in Long Island, and second is that with 5 dollars, you can feed your entire neighborhood with Taco Bell delicacies. While I love a bean burrito, I hate the way I feel afterward. I feel terrible with the way I fed myself, and I feel upset that I am financially constrained to the accessible, cheap food. This line of thinking has lead me to examine the following thought: I may have junk in my trunk, but what kind of junk?

I know that it is hard to eat well. I know this to be true because it is hard for me. I have no trouble filling myself up, but I have trouble feeling good about what I eat. In this line of work (psychology), there are many times when we feel like the shit shovelers of humanity. We are preparing ourselves to have hearty, thick skin to deal with whatever junk our clients feed us. However, on our own time, there is no reason for us to be treating ourselves like garbage cans. I deserve to treat myself better! But how much will that cost?

I can go to Whole Foods, lovingly called, "Whole Paycheck". Guilt free food everywhere! The cow you may be eating for dinner was most certainly not harassed by humans before it died. The apples you're eating may cost a dollar more a pound, but the farming techniques used to harvest them will not damage the soil for generations to come. Also, you get to fight your way through a well to-do crowd for the free gnosh of color-free, dye free cheese puffs. These are snack food substitutions to satisfy your inner couch potato, and satiate your outer hippie. Everybody's happy, right?

Everyone except those in our society lucky enough to be on EBT cards or WIC. Whole Foods doesn't accept them, and there are few
"health food" stores that accept them. If they do, let me know, because I would like to advertise it in the Times. My thinking is, that the message we are sending to America's poor is not only are you requiring a handout, you are only worth $1.39, and that buys one bag of frozen fried chicken fingers at Waldbaum's. You can most certainly not get decent food at that price, especially if you are trying to feed more than just yourself.

It's better than nothing, but not much. I mean, in our society, we place a high premium on the entitlement of food. "Have you had your break today?" How many times has a girlfriend offered you chocolate to calm you down during "your time of the month"? All I am suggesting is that these ways of satisfying ourselves are circular at best. Temporarily, you will feel as though you treated yourself. However, there is a REASON it is called junk food, and there is a reason you are eating it.