HOW TO EAT SHIT IN XANADU
I’ve seen you, walking around the store with that bewildered and pained expression on your face. I get it. I was you once too.
A new co op shopper.
You don’t recognize the brands. You are offended by the mystery smell, (I think it’s raw cheese, patchouli, and B.O., which you’ll come to love. I swear.) None of the other shoppers look like you or anyone you know…except maybe the cast of Survivor. Thin. Dreads. Tattoos. Piercings. Ethnic. Urban. “How do they afford this stuff?” you wonder. “Do they even have jobs?”
Yes, rookie. They have jobs. Careers, even. And they will likely live long enough to shift into encore careers. IF they don’t make the #1 rookie mistake. (Which I will get to in a sec.)
Chances are, what brought you to the co op, is that you, or someone you love, got sick, or had a health problem, which western medicine failed to solve, forcing you to take matters into your own hands.
First response: BRAVO!
Second response: BEWARE!
Not everything at the co op is healthy.
(LOUD CROWD GASP)
Before I go on, I would like to say I have mad love for co ops. The co op is my happy place. My bubble bath. My Xanadu. I am the nerdiest, geekiest, dorkiest healthy food freak that ever there was. Consequently, I read about, and experiment, A LOT, with food. So, I’ve learned some shit.
And what I have learned is this: Just because potato chips, and soda, and ice cream don’t contain dyes or chemicals, doesn’t mean they are good for you. And you can get all those things at the co op.
Quick story : I’m at my son’s baseball game eating organic almonds with sea salt. The parent sitting next to me is eating Pirate Booty. He asks me if I’d like some. I say, “No thanks. I have these. Want some?” He asks if he can read the label. I hand the package of almonds over and he says, “Oh, no. Too much sodium. I have a heart thing.” Meanwhile, he’s over there honking down 19 grams of carbs per 1 oz. serving OR almost 5 teaspoons of sugar per handful. And sugar is what causes inflammation, which is what causes “a heart thing”, not sea salt. F*CK!
Sorry. It makes me crazy. Because I love people and I want them to be healthy. But there’s no chance of that if we don’t start learning the truth about food. And it’s not the fault of food, or the marketers of food. It’s our fault. We have to educate ourselves. And we have to know what works for our bodies. Because while there might be some universal truths (like sugar isn’t good for anyone), there are some people who can consume more sugar than most, and some people do just fine on dairy, some on gluten, some on soy, etc… for others any one of those things could cause migraines, or skin issues, or make them pee through the wrong hole, or worse.
Look. I’m no saint. Don’t think I don’t strap on a feed bag of Kettle Chips every now and again, or plow through a pint of Cherry Garcia faster than Jerry Garcia. And don’t think I haven’t been known to let my kids (more often than I care to admit) eat frozen Udi’s pizzas for dinner, but I know what is in those foods. I know how those foods impact our unique health issues. And I know I should make those foods the exception, not the rule. I also know you can get too much of a good thing. Like the almonds I mentioned above. If I eat more than I should for my body, I get canker sores…and a fat ass. I know most gluten free products are crap. (And most people who think they are gluten free are not.) I know if it doesn’t come from the ground, or a tree, or an animal, and if it is in a package, it is probably food-like, but not exactly food. I know grains are not necessarily our friends. (and the USDA isn’t either). I know fat is. Even the saturated variety. And I know organic, green vegetables are bomb.com. Junk like that.
It’s all about education, really, and some trial and error.
What it is NOT about is going to the co op, or any supermarket that claims to carry healthy products, and just believing the hype.
Get your research on…and you can be healthy too, “Now that you’re near, in Xanadu.”
See you at the co op, b*tches!