Greetings from Off the Wagon

Like this, only with Cheetos

Forgive the late post this week, fellow Bellevue-Farmers-Market devotees. I've been vacationing with the fam in snowy Lake Tahoe. And I mean snowy! I don't recall seeing that much snow even as a kid. It was piled up on either side of the road over six feet high and more was expected today. While the children compared it to whipping cream, I thought the straight-edged snowbanks created by the plows looked more like block styrofoam. (Ecologically-helpful note: IKEA recycles block styrofoam. Throw it in the bins right by the entrance.)

In any case, I was on a vacation in more ways then one because I ate stuff on this trip that I hadn't touched in years. Cheetos, for instance. As yummy as I remembered, and, in case I needed the reminder, the in-flight magazine on the way home had a story about a Spokane company that makes biodegradable packing peanuts that are extruded just like--uh-huh--Cheetos. My sister bought strange pre-cooked Oscar Mayer bacon that was shelf-stable in boxes. There were Thomas' Sourdough English Muffins that didn't have a nutritional molecule to their name, and my youngest ate Fruit Loops the first day and Corn Pops the second. To my amazement, I read the box and found that a serving of Corn Pops contains two grams of dietary fiber. How about that! My niece celebrated her ninth birthday with a "Funfetti" cake, which tasted like every other white/yellow boxed cake you ever had, but this one had the special addition of those baby glops of wax and sugar and food coloring dear to every child's heart and better known as "sprinkles."

Then there was the meal that I sprung for--we couldn't find the pizza place in Tahoe City and ended up at the Safeway to buy--drumroll please--frozen pizzas and lasagna!

All of which is to say, I'm not in the position to offer any food advice this week except Do as I say, not as I do. If you haven't clicked away from this post in disgust, you might be interested in the NY Times' Opinion Pages take on "Eat Real Food."

On the other hand, I was pleased to read that Organic Valley milk in Northern California (don't know about Southern) comes from Northern California. The dairy farm advertised on the carton hailed from the Shasta vicinity. Just for fun you could check out their "Organic Counts" quiz to see how much your personal eating habits are saving the universe. But I wouldn't recommend doing it right after a processed-food vacation in Lake Tahoe!