From Processed Food to Processing Produce


I am a city girl who has gone country. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t believe some of the things that I eat now. Back in the day, I was a grab-food-on-the-go type of person. Every plate was a brown plate. No veggies to speak of, with the exception of a salad every once in a while, a salad topped with tons of cheese and drenched in salad dressing. Today, I won’t go anywhere near that salad!

My cabinets used to be filled with sugary cereals and snacks. I was hooked on Honey Buns for years and ramen noodles went beyond my college days. My fridge was filled with take-out containers. I would usually have some type of processed meat encased in plastic and loaded with salt. The cheese in my fridge wasn’t called cheese, but labeled a “product.”

Ironically, the best food in my house was the food that I ignored. A vegetable was usually rotting away in the crisper, no matter what it was. I’d get tired of wasting food, so I’d stop buying veggies, but I often had a feeling my parents and my grandma were looking down at me, peeping into my fridge from heaven, so I’d buy some vegetables for the crisper (never to eat them) and the process would start all over again. The cycle of life stopped at my refrigerator door in more ways than one. My food selection and I were a hot mess.

Fast forward to today and things are better, brighter and full of hope! Even now, writing this, I can feel my energy change from the last few paragraphs. I look forward to going to the market and buying my produce for the week. I give my strawberries a vinegar-water bath before storing them back inside the plastic container. Just a little cap-full of white vinegar in a clean sink of cold water can make my strawberries last for weeks. Blanching, roasting, and freezing my produce is fun while I plan my recipes for the week.

Today, I eat fresh food three times a day and I couldn’t be happier!

-Delores McCarter