Most likely, you could determine what this blog is about after reading the title: I’m attempting to eat only ‘real food’ for the next year.
This is not the first time I’ve attempted to change my dietary ways. Countless times I walked into the grocery store and farmer’s market like it was a victory march, filling my cart and emptying my wallet on berries and leafy greens and carrots with their green tops still attached. And just as many times, my resolve bottomed out. After a week or a month of living off soda, soft pretzels and other convenience store staples, I would once again see the light and get back in the healthy eating saddle. Repeat that process about twenty times and you have a fairly complete record of my eating habits for the past couple of years, ever since I decided to get serious about being healthy.
But I don’t think I’m surprising anyone when I say there’s plenty of obstacles in the way of that noble pursuit. I don’t care what people say otherwise, healthy food is expensive. And it’s high maintenance: eating fresh food requires it to be bought far more frequently than it’s preservative-laden counterparts, and preparing it often requires cleaning, chopping, and dirtying a sinkful of dishes every day which require cleaning. Now handcuff those requirements to the facts that I don’t own a car, am miles away from a decently-priced grocery store, and am currently working an hourly-wage job. Hopefully anyone could understand why a delicious, giant, $.69 chemical-filled soft pretzel and a frozen coffee smoothie from around the corner is so appetizing, especially after just getting back from work.
But I feel that we as a society are sacrificing authentic joy in many daily experiences for the sake of convenience, in the process gradually numbing our sensitivity to true enjoyment, so that we’re satisfied with a gummy candy that’s made mostly with corn syrup rather than a real dessert made with a good old heart-stopping amount of sugar and butter. So when I say ‘real food,’ I don’t mean to equate that with ‘healthy’ in the statistical sense of calorie counts and the like. Rather, when I say ‘real food,’ I could at best associate it with ‘healthy’ when ‘healthy’ is understood as conducive to the human experience of true delight–something, I feel, that’s contingent on the quality of the thing in question.
In my other blog, I try to focus on the ins and outs of ‘authentic food’ on the more abstract level. This blog, however, is devoted to a year-long attempt to see if it can actually be a part of my lifestyle, and done within my personal logistical limitations–namely, broke and often stranded.
This blog will likely document many failures on my behalf to pursue that purpose (provided I can even keep this up for a year), and I’m sure will take a while to even figure out what on earth I’m doing. But, I welcome anyone willing to read this blog occasionally, as well as any advice.