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If You’re Me, Organic Food Is NOT Healthy For You

Updated on December 8, 2008


I’ve always had the suspicion that the food you get at what they used to call back in the day Health Food stores is anything but healthy for you. If you look at the people who work there and presumably eat there you can see that their cheeks are sunken in, their eyes look like hollow holes that used to hold their soul and a love of pastrami sandwiches but they’re basically sallow and can barely get the energy to move at a pace that is roughly the timing you’d get if you were jogging underwater. (Notice most of what you see at these stores do not come in heavy containers – not just because they’re bad for the environment but also because the clerks at the store have no energy from eating their healthy food that they can’t lift the “big items” to a top shelf.) Well, recently I’ve gotten hooked on a new grocery store that specializes in organic food and what I’ve discovered is that if you’re me, organic food is not healthy for you – Don’t Get Me Started!

At first I was put off by the whole concept of this grocery store. They’re called, Fresh & Easy. They have aisle after aisle of products mainly made by them (or by what I can only assume are the organic anemic elves chained in the back of the store) and mostly everything is organic. There are some name brand items but by in large they are all Fresh & Easy made, Fresh & Easy brand and the first time I walked into the store I made one big loop of the store and walked right out. I couldn’t quite get my head around this store and why there was nothing there that looked familiar. The packaging didn’t have fabulous pictures of what the item “could” look like if you made it right. They all had this clear packaging where you had to look at the food as it was and then sort of figure out what it might look like once you try to cook it. Sure it saves the disappointment you feel for the fact that what you cook at home never looks like the glossy picture on the box but I need marketing and packaging so this was very scary to me.

The other scary part of this store is a deal breaker for me because some things that you learn in your childhood stay with you for life. From the time I was old enough to ride my bike to the store to pick up items at the store for my mother she would always say the same thing to me just before I departed. It wasn’t the typical, “Take care” or “Be safe” or even “Look both ways” no, it was always, “And get a good date!” For those of you who are not Jews and do not understand this, what this refers to is the date that is on perishable items. So if you find a carton of milk that has a date for this week, pull all of them out because no doubt behind all the milk dated for this week is the golden ring, the one that is dated two weeks out. Now two weeks out, THAT’S a good date. Well, in the Fresh & Easy stores, because their stuff isn’t made with a lot of preservatives, there are no good dates. The “best” date you’ll find is four days from now and this is where the whole organic food is not healthy for me.

What I find is that all of the food is delicious but I sit around thinking about only one thing when I’m not eating. All of those items I’ve purchased sitting in my refrigerator that are going bad as we speak. I go through a tally of all the items in there and their dates and then I sit and think, “Oh my God, what kind of a Jew am I? I can’t eat out of date food. I can’t throw it out.” And that’s when the eating begins. Because the trick is that if you feel the way I listed above then you would see that you only have one option and that is to eat everything before it goes bad. So now, the organic food has given you high anxiety because it’s going bad, additional stress and tension over it and once you eat the entire contents of everything you’ve eaten out of the refrigerator you have heart burn. It’s basically a grand slam of being uncomfortable, fat and yet at the same time quite healthy because after all, it’s all organic!

Look, I don’t know what the real answer is to all of this but I know that I’ve fallen into a cycle that will not soon be broken. It’s sort of like when it’s a Sunday and you decide that you’re going to start working out and eating better on Monday. In order to get to Monday and the healthy you you’ve always wanted to be, you have to eat everything “bad” in the house in order to “get rid of it” and begin your healthy life. But meanwhile you’re so bloated on Monday from having eaten everything chocolate or over four hundred calories per serving on Sunday that you wake up in a sugar coma on Monday and there’s no possible way you’re going to be able to drag your fat ass to the gym. What’s more, Tuesday seems like a bad day to start and by Wednesday you’re in a grocery store buying your salmon and fresh spinach when the person in front of you takes a little too long and the next thing you know, going down that conveyer belt is the salmon, spinach and three Snickers bars for $.99. It’s just all so exhausting and yet, I know that I’m doing better for myself because the food is organic. Or am I? If you’re me, organic food is not healthy for you – Don’t Get Me Started!

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