Wednesday, 19 September 2012

More "real world" than "real food"

Every now and then, the system breaks down. This blog is supposed to be about real food, but sometimes the real world takes over - and I suppose that's the point really. If I had all the time in the world to be a 21st-century hunter-gatherer, I don't even think I would be.

While I admire people like Mark Boyle (see link above), and I appreciate the ideals that he's espousing, it's a way of life that is clearly not for everyone. He represents the extreme, at one end of the spectrum, just as heavily processed food and the industry that creates it represents the opposite end. The reality is that most of us live somewhere in the middle, and this blog is about trying to tip the balance in favour of the Mark Boyles of this world rather than ripping up the food industry, capitalism and all that jazz. The extremes are vitally important, as they allow us to benchmark the moderate, the middle-of-the-road, but neither pole should necessarily be taken as a single, exclusive approach.

You've probably guessed by now that this is all a preamble to saying that I failed the 30-day food challenge. I did spend the whole of last week on a boat in the Adriatic, where (though my Serbo-Croat wasn't good enough to check) the majority of my food came out of the sea close by, but then I came back to the UK with a bump. I've been doing some contracting work, you see, and by dint of my location in Suffolk, that has involved long days travelling in to and out of London, which has left precisely zero time for shopping and cooking - so much for the freedom of being self employed!

Last night, having got home late and sat in front of my computer trying to figure out my expenses, I succumbed to that most "real world" of meals - processed food from the freezer. With a few frozen sausages, some oven chips and a squirt of ketchup, my hunger was sated. You'll forgive me if I don't post a picture.

So, even those of us who try sometimes fail. But the point is that we try. We strive to do the best we can, but sometimes the need to put food on the table for the family by going out and earning the money to pay for it overrides the ability to ensure the quality of that food.

"Do or do not, there is no try", said Master Yoda, but he was wrong. Always try, accept it when you don't succeed, but never give up trying.

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