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Posted on May 7th, 2019

The Geography of My Mind – The Problem with Food

The problem with food is that you always need more of it. Why haven’t we reached that point in the future like the Jetson’s where they have those meal pellets? I hate grocery shopping. I hate to cook (well, I don’t hate it, but it takes too damn long, and I’m really not that good at it). I buy the exact same food every week, and have for quite some time. When I do venture off the ranch a little ways, it usually doesn’t go well. Typically I’ll try out some new recipe, usually in some half-ass manner, and it’ll be okay once or twice, then loses its luster real quick. Sometimes I actually like the new meal and I’ll overdo it, causing myself to burn out on it. So that leaves me eating the same 4-5 things every week because I don’t really like to go out to eat (which isn’t true, it just takes too long, is a hassle, and costs too much). I’ve tried those home delivery meals, Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, but they’re not any cheaper (because while it says the contents serves two people, I’ve never not eaten everything in one meal), and they sure are wasteful. The packaging that goes into those things, man, you’d think these companies hadn’t heard of pollution, landfills and the perils of plastic. So, what am I to do?

I definitely enjoy eating, most people do, but I think it could be a lot more entertaining. I often wonder how my dog eats the same thing day in and day out. I actually wish I could do that. If I could eat the exact same thing every day, somewhat enjoy it, and never have to fuss about it, man, things would be great (at least in that corner of my life)… If I had the money, I’d hire a “private” chef to make my meals. Nothing fancy, but just someone who would come by twice a week with prepared foods for me to warm up (or not) when it’s time to eat… Grocery stores and shopping sucks. All of the grocery stores around me are garbage. You can never get everything you need at one place, everybody is always out of stuff, the produce is often suspect, and there are never enough cashiers for the amount of people trying to check out. At times, the grocery store experience feels a lot like the DMV…

I know a lot of people that really look forward to preparing their meals. Many say it’s the best way to show your love for someone; by making them a meal. But my family never really put a lot of time into the meal experience. Sure, we always ate together, and at the same time, but there was no sophistication to our meals (or taste, often), and it was all pretty standard middle class fare. Neither of my parents’ had specialties, so there wasn’t much to look forward to. Going out for us was grabbing burgers from the fast food joint or pizza from the chain store, or maybe saddling up to some disgusting-in-retrospect buffet. It’s actually a wonder I eat at all these days after that upbringing. Even though I don’t have a cause, maybe I should just go on a hunger strike, I might be better off…

I’ve cooked a few meals for women in my life, but I’m pretty sure it has always been the exact same one – you know, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: tzatziki mango salmon. I’m pretty sure that it’s not really a thing, but at the time I first did it I was probably high on my Greek food kick and women seem to like fish for some reason. The mango was just to make it sound fancy. But, I’ve made that dish for various women maybe 10-12 times, and it always go over well. Though, now that I think about it, it probably has a lot more to do with the gesture than the taste or outcome, but hey man, whatever works. Each time I made it the process took forever and I don’t remember it being cheap. Plus I made a mess…

I’m pretty against most chains (though in a pinch I’ll eat Jimmy John’s or Chipotle), and anything truly fast food (i.e., burgers) is a huge turnoff. But based on my hatred for shopping, cooking and eating the same thing all the time, I sort of feel like I should give in and just give myself over to McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Subway and the like; life would be easier – and cheaper. And shorter. I’d probably die pretty quickly if I made that switch. Though, it’s not like I eat all that healthy, though I tell myself I do; I think I need a nutritionist in addition to my personal chef. Man, life is hard…

I have a cookbook, I think my mom gave it to me some 20 years ago, and she’d had it for 20 years before that. I imagine if I were to open it I wouldn’t find anything healthy in there, and I imagine none of it would really be that easy to make – otherwise she would have made some of it when I was but a wee lad. Cookbooks are strange in this day and age, with the internet and all, we can find anything we want on there, so who needs a physical cookbook? But no matter where I find the recipe, it won’t really matter, for I haven’t the interest, or the time, to make a meal. I just want to be fed, and I’d prefer that it taste good, be ever-evolving, and not cost too much. I guess that’s what I should be looking for in a woman: one who wants to, and likes to, cook meals (for me). I have no problem washing the dishes, and I guess I’d even commit to going to the grocery store to get the stuff if it were laid out straight for me. Ah, a personal chef/girlfriend, that’s what I need…

Back to dog food. How can anyone say that a 40 lb. bag of unrefrigerated food that lasts about a month can be good for dogs? There is just no way. Canned food is loaded with preservatives and the meat in there is likely below hot dog grade. These new age hippies and their “raw diets,” well, most veterinarians who haven’t dropped acid will tell you that is likely a ticking time bomb waiting to rupture your dog’s guts. That leaves us with fresh or dehydrated, and anything mass produced can’t be good, so throw out the latter. Now that means if we want to treat our beloved pooches right, we have to cook for them – and we’re already having trouble cooking for ourselves! Or maybe that’s just me… My point is, how much does it cost for a personal chef for a dog?

Marco Esquandoles
Always Hungry

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