The Suburban Cheapskate

If you knew me personally, the first thing you’d ask when you heard that I’m writing for this site would be: “Why would they want YOU to write articles for THEM?”You might wonder what a guy who never buys organic is doing here. If you thought that I’m looking to be saved, for a messianic prophet to call me up to the pristine mountain of natural food purity, or waiting for the dark angels to scare me with apocalyptic visions of Agribusiness and its products, you’d be wrong.

I’m a committed impurist; I use the ‘Hitler was a vegetarian, you know’ argument frequently and without shame.

“Good taste is the excuse I’ve always given for leading such a bad life” – Oscar Wilde once said.

TASTE! Supposedly, organic produce has oodles of it, but this hasn’t always been apparent to me. “You can’t taste that?” – “Yeah, I guess so,” I say but inwardly I’m saying, “No, you’re delusional and Hitler was a vegetarian, you know.”

(Full Disclosure: I enjoyed sniffing gasoline fumes and eating glue as a child, and sometimes I’m still tempted.)

This is not to say that my pores are dripping with poly-unsaturated fats and chemical preservatives or to say I don’t like good fresh food. My food intake is fairly healthy.

I call it my Eight Things Diet, something that sounds like the menu selection Master Kan would present to Grasshopper on the old ‘Kung Fu’ TV show if he’d been head waiter at the temple, not a butt-kicking, kung fu priest.

(1) oatmeal
(2) low-fat milk
(3) semi-sweet chocolate chips
(4) low-fat yogurt
(5) Medjool dates
(6) low-fat cheddar cheese;
(7) raisins
(8) shredded wheat cereal;
(9) broccoli
(10) red wine

Yeah, I know, that’s ten things. I did state clearly that I’m an impurist and this covers white lies too; now you know.

My local Market Basket has punched the store out into the parking lot and now they’ve added new products and pumped up a few prices. My low-fat cheddar cheese went from $2.49 to $2.69. Regarding those price increases, ‘it’s the gasoline’ everybody says. So is that the gas that goes into the trucks that distribute it or is gasoline an ingredient in low-fat cheddar cheese? They put anti-freeze in the wine, so, why not? Does anti-freeze come from the middle east too? It sort of makes sense: if you were looking for natural deposits of anti-freeze, it seems like the burning sands of Saudi Arabia would be the logical place to start.

So, until the U.S. has a somewhat sane energy policy (I’ll miss those gas fumes!) or until the earthy, crunchy Second Coming, whichever comes first, I’m just here looking for bargains.

Note from the Editor: He’s also here to remind us that not everybody cares if there are GMOs in the Cheerios. In other words, there are plenty of ways to filling a shopping basket.

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