I read an excellent article in the Globe and Mail recently by one of my favourite columnists, Tabatha Southey. I wish I’d written it. Damn her. It was about the difference between shopping at Pusateri’s and shopping at Whole Foods (disclaimer: I have only gone into Pusateri’s as I would the AGO – to stare lovingly and longingly at their gorgeous foodstuffs, and Whole Foods makes me want to punch people. I shop at No Frills and my local butcher and fishmonger. These places are not for the likes of me.)
I’ll link the article, but she goes on to talk about how Pusateri’s is all about love and celebration of food, and Whole Foods, as she says, “…pump the smell of death into the air…, much the same way it’s said that Cinnabon floods the subway stations with their heavy scent of sugar and spice. The smell of death is what prompts people to buy at Whole Foods.” Death and fear. I should eat, I shouldn’t eat, if I don’t eat this super expensive thing I’ll die, etc.
Who isn’t influenced by this type of marketing? I’m a born skeptic and I get suckered in with greater frequency than I care to admit.
I was shopping down at Rowe Farms one day, and John Rowe happened to be there. We started talking about the cost of eating quality food and he said, “Well, just eat less.” Eat good, high quality, locally produced food in small quantities and enjoy it, for god’s sake. This is the ethos behind places like Pusateri’s. They celebrate food. Food is for pleasure and sharing and nourishing our bodies with all that the good mother provides us from the earth.
As described in earlier posts, I have a complicated relationship with food, but both my head and heart are on the same page with this one. Food shouldn’t be used as a weapon to destroy our confidence in our own judgment about what we should or shouldn’t eat. We know our bodies best and food shouldn’t be reduced to nutrients; it’s so much more.