Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Seedless Grape Dilemma

I have to admit to being some what of a convert to the whole eating non-genetically modified food. I think it's living in France that's done it to me. Food is serious here and knowing the whos, whats, and whys of your produce is important. I wish I could be as hardcore as Barbara Kingsolver, who decided only to eat what she could find locally for a year but as BVJC pointed out, "it's a good goal, but what do you mean NO BANANAS?"

I do like being able to eating vegetables straight from my or my friends' gardens. I like getting meat at the butcher shop that has the huge sign about where the side of beef I'm buying was grazing last week. I like eating things "in season." I like buying local. I like feeling like I'm part of a natural process. Heck, I even liked it when after our sewer pipe backed up, we all of the sudden had cherry tomatoes growing all over the place. Bearing in mind that said sewer pipe combines both the kitchen outflow as well as what's flushed, we didn't eat those little lovelies. I like to think I can go all organic but even that's just a touch too close to home for me.

But there is something that I can not get past. Grape seeds. Those annoying, bitter tasting seeds that take all the pleasure out of popping a round, bright green gem into your mouth on a hot summer's day. Bummer for me then that finding grapes over here without seeds has been like the constant search for the Holy Grail.

Luckily for me, the American contingent to the expat crowd has been working on this quest for years. And low and behold! There are seedless grapes to be found in the wacking great big supermarket in the city! Oh, rapture! Oh, joy! Who knew such a thing could bring such bliss!

Yes, I will admit to having bought loads. And as I happily shoved these genetically modified beauties into my mouth as fast as I could, I tried to reassure myself that I wasn't selling out, that I could still be the crunchy hippy mama that I've been aspiring to be, that I could still eat tomatoes that were nurtured with shit from my neighbour's cow as well as enjoying these little miracles of science.

Easier said then done.

We are lucky in this day and age to eat what we want, when we want, and how we want. Need a tomato that can sit on your shelf for months? No problem. Milk that doesn't go bad in a week? Here you go! How about a Twinkie that can last till Mini-Husband graduates from college? It's amazing and just a little bit scary what science can do to food.

I'm going to stick to hugging my hippy tree and try and really think about the choices I'm making with our food. Take on the French attitude of wanting to know as much about what I'm putting in our mouths as I can. I want to try and learn as Kingslover and her family learned, that we can rediscover the joy of eating locally and growing our own food.

In the meantime, to ease my conscience and keep my motivation, the least I can do is only buy the seedless grapes when they are in season, right?


Dig said...

Ironic, isn' it that today's French word of the day happens to be "vigne..."

hubster dave said...

but you still insist on buying your fresh meat products in the aisles in their plastic wrappings rather than queueing at the meat counter for them wrapped in more environmentally friendly paper... where's hippy mom now?

Dig said...

Hanging her head in shame...while eating more seedless grapes.