A new Best Foods mayonnaise commercial touts that their brand is "real" and that we should all eat more real foods.
Whether Best Foods tastes any better than other brands, I don't know, but I certainly agree with the sentiment. We live in such an over processed, nasty food world, that sometimes I ache for tomatoes just picked from the garden instead of their red, cardboard-tasting counterparts at the grocery store.
I'd give a lot these days for a bite of my dad's famous rainbow trout, caught and cooked the same day with his own special recipe. (Beats any freeze-dried halibut you're trying to pass off as food.) And for birthday cake? Mom's Finnish cake recipe, complete with moistening the layers with lemon juice and filling them with fresh jam. (Forget that artificially-colored atrocity at the grocery store bakery.)
I grew up with a mother who was way ahead of the health-food curve (and by way ahead, I mean something in the neighborhood of light years). My family was pretty much seen as the freaks of the neighborhood, and it wasn't unheard of for Mom to tell us not to mention that we ate raw honey instead white sugar, because people will think we're weird. (They did.)
She had read enough scientific literature to know well before the general public did that butter is better for you than margarine. (If I haven't mentioned it before, Mom is a bibliophile, only not so much with novels. The woman reads and reads every piece of non-fiction, especially about nutrition and health, that she can get her hands on.)
We never had margarine growing up (and I still can't stand the taste of it—I can hardly believe there are people in the world who can't tell the difference between butter and that nasty goo). But I had friends (even as an adult, I've run into them) who insist that margarine is better for you.
But we didn't even buy Crisco. "Shortening" to me meant butter. Most people I knew thought we were crazy.
It wasn't until about five years ago that the term "trans fat" became common when referring to the fat in margarine and shortening. At last, Mom was vindicated.
Like most of the country, Hubby grew up on margarine. It was cheaper and, as far as the family knew, healthier. For special occasions like Christmas, his mother would indulge in butter—and what a treat it was! So you can imagine his reaction when he married me and I put my foot down, insisting we'd always have butter, thank you very much. (Butter all the time?! Score!)
Recently, I asked a neighbor if I could borrow a cube of butter. She said yes, and I sent one of the kidlets to pick it up. He came home with a cube of margarine. I had half a mind to call her back and say, "I asked for BUTTER, lady! This isn't BUTTER." I didn't use the cube; I couldn't. We just made something else for dinner.
Same goes with other "real" foods. The fake variety just doesn't cut it. In addition to real butter, I grew up on homemade whole wheat bread that was so hearty it broke our toaster. (Dad, child of the Depression, jimmy-rigged the thing so it still worked. But you had to poke a homemade "key" into a special hole he drilled to make the toaster go down.)
Another real food I prefer is brown rice. It is real. White rice, while tolerable, is FAKE. You have to strip all the good stuff off the brown rice to make it white, just like you have to strip all the good stuff off the wheat kernel to make white flour.
My manic protestations to the contrary, hubby still prefers white bread and white rice. But I've converted him to other things over the thirteen years we've been married.
My biggest success has been getting him to genuinely appreciate—of course—REAL chocolate.
Whoops. As if one chocoholic in the family weren't enough.
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