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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Thursday June 20th 2024

Food Obsession: FOOD AND CLASS

Recently I read an article in the November 29 Newsweek that claimed that eating habits and tastes are the new dividers of social class in America. Well-off people can choose pure, organic, out-of-season and hard-to-find-foods, as they have access to high-end stores that carry these things and the money to buy them when they are there. These foods are usually nutritious, delicious and satisfying. One woman cited in the article felt she was doing her part to make the world a better place by demanding such foods for herself and her family. Meanwhile, the poor go to a convenience store or a huge supermarket and get the cheapest foods sold in quantity and featured in coupons and price deals, foods that give quick satisfaction, little real nutrition and a load of calories.

It doesn”'t have to be this way. At Cedar Food and Grill, the grocery store at East 26th Street and Cedar Avenue, “Mo” is making sure that there are fresh fruits and vegetables and other wholesome foods available for his mostly low-income customers. Wholesome foods, some even organic, can be found at some huge supermarkets. Your backyard or community garden will yield organic and locally grown foods. Canning and freezing will make them last, with none wasted. (Since an experience canning a pint of tomatoes in junior high school home ec class, I haven”'t canned any foods. I should read up on it and try it again.) Eating less meat, cooking at home oftener also make for tasty, nutritious dinners ”“ and you know what went into your finished product.

Off the soapbox and to the stove”¦.

Just one recipe included, as I took up space with the piece of my mind. This recipe is nutritious, inexpensive and low-calorie. I think it is a Weight-Watchers recipe, but it is a yummy comfort food anyway, and open to much variation.

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE STEW (Yes, it is too good to be true because it calls for way to much liquid. I will give the original recipe, and indicate how I changed it.)

1 lb. of ground beef or turkey (Note the small amount of meat in proportion to the rest of the ingredients. Keep this proportion.)

1 bag of coleslaw mix

1-46 oz. can of (spicy) V-8 juice (No!! Use less ”“ you might have that much on hand, but put juice in little by little. You can drink the rest later.)

1-28 oz. can of stewed tomatoes

4-10 oz. cans of tomatoes with green chilies (Are we cooking for an army here? 2 cans is plenty.)

3-15 oz. cans of beans (1 each of black, red, kidney) (Choose 2 of these kinds. 2 cans are enough.)

1 cup of chopped onion

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 package of dry Italian dressing mix. Rice? I added about a cup of rice half an hour before the stew was done.

I also added half of a “banana”, or medium-hot pepper ”“ use a whole one if you want a very spicy stew.

Saute onion and garlic until tender (Do it with the ground meat, or use a very small amount of oil or butter). Brown the meat (or use leftover chicken or turkey, cooking it with the other ingredients and then carefully removing the bones). Cook all ingredients in a large stock pot for an hour. This stew freezes well.

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