As part of the Pop Tart Generation (previous post), we benefitted a great deal from advances in chemistry. Vaccines, food preservatives, fertilizers, antibacterial soaps, cosmetics, you name it, we found a way to add it to our lives.
In doing so, we have tricked ourselves into believing that we could overcome any obstacle by applying our imagination. Hunger and malnutrition? Add some vitamins to your milk/rice/cereal. Chemicals are cheap.
Turns out that while these foods do offer some benefits, they've become overused and are poor substitutes for the original sources of vitamins that are right under our noses. If you need calcium, milk works but dark green leafy veggies are a much better alternative. Here's hoping that the new revolution toward eating more locally and seasonally will begin to remedy that.
In sad news, I saw an item in a local newspaper yesterday that celebrated the accomplishments of food scientists who have discovered how to give fish fillets a longer shelf life. Apparently freezing isn't good enough. My issues with this are many:
1. "food scientists" - just sounds nefarious. A little Batman-villianish.
2. Typically shopping for fish is an exercise in freshness. I don't really want to look at the packing date and see that it was sometime last week.
3. The "all natural" treatment that these fish fillets are dipped in is derived from crustacean shells. For people who are allergic to shellfish this could be deadly.