Fifty Things

Back in May, shortly after my post about all the food I had in my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, I had an idea.  My inspiration stemmed from my guilt over having so many things when there are so many hungry people in the world.  So it came to me, what if I limited the foods I eat to a list of fifty carefully selected items?  Brilliant, I thought!  I wasted no time creating my list.  You might be surprised to know how quickly you can get to fifty items. 

On the list were things I eat every day: oatmeal, flax seeds, yogurt, milk, maple syrup (that’s just breakfast!), peanut butter, butter (of course!); staples like flour, sugar, honey, oil, yeast; fruits and veggies like lemons, limes, apples, blueberries, avocados, carrots, onions, potatoes and on and on.  Some items fell into broad categories, like pork and beef.  Ketchup and mustard rounded out the list. 

But wait.  What about mayo?  No worries, I thought, I can make that from the ingredients I’ve already listed – I made it twice in my lifetime, it wouldn’t be any big deal to make it regularly. 

Then I realized I’d neglected to add sunflower seeds.  And spinach.  Idea revision – what if I lumped like things together, like nuts instead of walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds and  beans instead of garbanzo beans and black beans and kidney beans, and of course squash could include zucchini, butternut, and acorn, right?  It’s my idea, I can have any rules I want!

When I first heard about the eat local movement, I jumped on the bandwagon.  It made sense to support my local farmers and grow at least some of my own food.  It made sense to eat food in season and not expect strawberries to taste delicious in the dead of winter.  It wasn’t a huge sacrifice to give up tropical fruit and seafood from the ocean (I was fortunate to live in Florida for a couple of years and consumed large quantities of both while I was there), but avocados?  What is life without guacamole or creamy avocado ice cream (it’s a thing – Google it!)?

The truth of the matter is that I live in a place where I can buy and eat pretty much anything I want, any time I want.  It’s available, it’s reasonably priced and really, why not? Yet it doesn’t feel right to live that way. Should I have virtually zero limits when others struggle to feed their families?

While I was doing my research for this post, I came across this article.  It’s pretty interesting to see what people are eating around the world.  There may be another post about that in the future.  The fifty things idea clearly needs a little more work, but in the meantime, I’m going to stick with buying and eating local (minus my avocados), eating food in season, and growing my own food when I can.

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