Friday, June 22, 2012

Food Snob

Shockingly, I will not be showing you any pictures of food I've made. I know. I know. Shocker.

I decided to turn on the TV today because I was craving some adult interaction and, well, that wasn't happening. It may be a one-way relationship, but it's enjoyable sometimes. The television was turned on the History Channel, which means my husband was the last one to watch TV and was watching either Pawn Stars or American Pickers. I left it on because Modern Marvels was playing and I am always curious about how regular consumer products are made.

The first show was about processed snack foods. They explored the makings of pastries and donuts and all things loaded with saturated fat. The next show was all about meat. They started with pork rinds and continued on to cold cuts. I emailed one of my favorite vegetarian friends, Brooke, because I was so distraught about the discussion of how bologna is made with mechanically separated chicken. The guy being interviewed sticks his gloved hand in a HUGE container of what looked to be liquified chicken. Or, to compare, it looked like vomit. Which then made me want to vomit.

Just before they shoot to commercial, they always show an interesting fact about the number of donuts made in one hour stretching to the heights of the Empire State Building or something. This one was about gelatin being made out of pig skin... and obviously used in things like marshmallows.

I like marshmallows.

This vegetarian knew gelatin was made by a meat product, but that's not what I wanted to hear. When we visited the Netherlands and walked by a cheese shop in Amsterdam, I wouldn't go in. I couldn't. Frankly, I just can't handle seeing cheese in any other state other than on my pizza or in the package I purchase at the grocery store. I'm sort of one of those people that handles such things as what you don't know won't hurt you... but what you do know, will. So that's one of those things. If I know the facts, it will gross me out so much that I won't eat it. And there's already more foods on this planet I won't eat than will and I can't afford to add any more to the list.

So hearing once again that marshmallows are made out of gelatin which contains pig skin was enough to send me into a Pinterest search frenzy for vegan marshmallows. And y'all, I found them. I then emailed Brooke about my find and told her that I really want to find them for less than $12/bag like they're sold for on Amazon (unless you buy in bulk). I complained to her about how the Midwest is just a meat society and vegetarian is practically a bad word here in the 'burbs.
We have Whole Foods and Trader Joe's and my favorite little grocer about 3 miles away that charges way too much but has the best vegan, vegetarian, and organic products. They often sell obscure items like Jeni's ice cream that boasts a flavor called Queen City Cayenne that sounds right up my alley. Sure, a pint is $10, but something intrigues me about a company who handwrites their flavors in Sharpie markers. They also have a delish bistro attached that sells one of my favorite vegetarian burgers made from lentils and other delicious veggies.

But otherwise, there isn't a lot around. So I complained via email to Brooke.

No more than 2 minutes later, I had to retract that complaint, as said marshmallows are sold at that little grocer and all Whole Foods Markets. Touché, touché.

And even better? The company that makes said marshmallows is called Chicago Vegan Foods

I've got to tell you, though. Now that B is here and just a couple months from starting on solids, I'm starting to really think about what food he'll be eating. For one, he won't be raised a veggie like me. I want him to be exposed to all healthy and whole foods. For some reason I'm totally okay with myself eating the four boxes of Magnum ice cream bars I just purchased for an amazing deal last week, but I want him to be eating high quality ingredients. I can assure you bologna will not be on that list. We might have to refinance our house just to buy exclusively from Applegate Farms, but dang. Pig skin just gives me the heebie jeebies.

Anyway, this post was maybe my second pathetic attempt to have adult interaction of some kind today. 



LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

It's funny you posted this since earlier this week a friend and I were debating what exact bologna is made from- I thought pig, if that's any indication of how often I eat it... BARF.

I'm very much a "don't ask, don't know" person when it comes to food. I should probably look into this since we're not all that far behind you! :)

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

I totally agree that it's better not to know. I think the same about bacteria in yogurt. I know it's there, I know it's good for you, but still, I'd rather NOT KNOW about it. You know? And my vegetarian adventures began after watching an episode of the X-Files featuring a chicken farm, so I'm totally with you on the gross me out factor. We are lucky to be privileged enough to be picky about food.

Melissa @ A Dozen Years Later said... [Reply to comment]

I saw a commerical for the mini Magnum bars last night. I agree.. they are awesome.

I am glad you found some pig free marshmallows!

Ben and Katie said... [Reply to comment]

Closest whole foods from here is far for me! I was spoiled while in Atlanta, Cali and jersey to have them all about walking distance! Yes expensive but worth it!
I determined the next time I'm at Costco to buy the organic no hormone chicken breast and try and find a turkey one! We rarely eat beef and more rare then that pork so I guess I can put that money towards the good stuff!
I never knew that about marshmallows! Geesh why is all the good stuff bad?
Will you make B's food?

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

My sister recently went vegan and was so sad about marshmallows and jello. Also that my dairy free cream puffs contained a plethora of eggs, but that's neither here nor there.
I'm glad you found your mallows! I miss Whole Foods so much. Another thing I gave up to live in the sticks. :))

SG said... [Reply to comment]

I know this isn't the main point but I LOVE Jeni's I've cream! I went to a few conferences in Ohio and got a little obsessed with many of their flavors...

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

Pig skin? Barf. And to think I almost made marshmallow brownies today! Trip to Whole Foods is in the works...