I’m a particular eater. I don’t eat red meat or processed foods. I don’t drink soda. I stay away from rich cream sauces, and if it weren’t for my love of cheese I would probably forego dairy altogether. I’m not thrilled about genetically engineered or modified food or ingredients, and if it can be left on a shelf indefinitely or concocted from a strange powder in a packet, I steer clear. I can’t help thinking that fake meat soy products are a very, very bad idea. I don’t eat Chinese food — largely because I watch too much Dateline. My favorite foods contain 5 ingredients or less.
Sure, I can be annoying, but I like to know what I’m eating.
That said, I’m always amazed at the people who will stick things in their mouths and ask questions later (you can take that any way you want).
Let me be clear . . . I’m not a perfect eater (because if I were, I wouldn’t be in a constant battle with my thighs). One of my guiltiest pleasures is frozen yogurt.
Now . . . there are many problems with fro-yo. It goes against all of my food sensibilities. It emanates mysteriously from a silver machine. God only knows what goes into that machine, and how often it’s cleaned. I try to determine the ingredients, but I’m usually far too enamored with the possibility of Red Velvet Cake mixed with Cookies and Cream to employ my usual diligence in deconstructing the ingredients.
Honestly, if I really wanted to be a frozen treat purist, I would go for ice cream. But ice cream, while delicious, is too rich and makes me nauseous. Fro-yo it is.
I’m in Miami Beach for a while, tagging along with the boyfriend while he works on a TV show. I can think of worse places to be than South Beach in the first quarter of the year. I’ve had to learn the city and find favorite spots, which would be more fun if the food quality in Miami were higher. I’m a Chicagoan, and since we have nothing better to do in piercing cold weather than entertain ourselves with good meals, our restaurants are usually incredible. The food isn’t so great in Miami, which is probably why everyone is, on average, about 20 lbs lighter than the typical Chicagoan.
I was craving frozen yogurt the other day. I saw several people shopping on Lincoln Road with what appeared to be cups full of frozen yogurt complete with yummy toppings, and I set myself on a mission to find yogurt ground zero.
Finally I found a place that resembled one of my favorite spots in Chicago. It was called Tasti something-or-other. The only issue was the product. It resembled frozen yogurt, but it wasn’t advertised as frozen yogurt. Nor was it advertised as ice cream. Given my pickiness, I began to question the salesperson:
Gina: So . . . is your product frozen yogurt?
G: Okay. Is it ice cream?
S: No. It’s somewhere in the middle.
G: Hmmm. Is it dairy?
S: I think so.
G: Okay, so let me get this straight . . . what you’re selling isn’t frozen yogurt, nor is it ice cream, and it is dairy — although you seem uncertain about that?
G: Well, since you’re so great at telling me what it’s not, would you mind telling me what it is?
The salesperson points to a large poster on the wall. The content on this poster was virtually useless. I learned that the unknown substance was fewer calories than ice cream and contained fewer grams of fat. Whoo hoo! I learned that the company is dedicated to making a tasty, creamy product. Fabulous! The company even touts the use of natural products and no artificial sweeteners. Yippee! Okay, so WTF IS it?
They lost me with the phrase “perfected in the lab.” Which means that even THEY don’t know what it is.
Essentially it’s Faux-Yo!
I took a pass, but as I watched the multitudes of people who mindlessly shuffled in, asked no questions, and shoveled an unknown product into their mouths, I wondered if anyone bothers to question what they eat. Or does everyone assume that if it’s sold in a retail outlet it “must be okay.” Because that would be the very wrong assumption.
There is very low quality-control with foods that we buy from restaurants. They have to meet health code requirements, but other than that, as long as they’re not killing people, anything goes. It’s scary, if you really think about it.
I challenge everyone to REALLY think about what you eat on a regular basis, and then tell me your craziest guilty pleasure.
Thanks for reading!