Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wild Rice and Interesting Observations

I really like wild rice. I made my Fruited Wild Rice Dish for an Elderhostel class that I taught last week and then wanted to buy some for myself. What happened was very interesting, as many things are.

I headed to Trader Joe's. While there I was chatting with Linda, the demo lady. We talked about my new pressure cooking DVD, Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look, Delicious Dishes in Minutes which can be found at http://www.pressurecookingonline.com. I told her that my goal is to get people to shop just a little less at Trader Joe's and to cook more at home. I said that many people probably don't realize that they can make lentil soup in the pressure cooker in less time than it takes to drive to the store.

Linda agreed and then said, "If anyone is concerned about sodium or sugar, then there are lots of foods that they can't buy here." And that's the big downside of processed foods.

Together we walked over to the fresh case and Linda showed me a small package of sweet potatoes with cranberries that was about a pound. She remarked that it was awfully expensive at $3.99, and that it was too sweet for her.

Then I saw a package of diced sweet potatoes in a steaming bag for the microwave. It was 8 ounces and cost $1.69. I was amazed. A pound of organic sweet potatoes is about that much and those were conventional. I thought that was expensive.

Finally, I managed to find my wild rice which cost $4.99 for a 1 pound bag. Wild rice needs to be cooked with a lot of water and 1 cup of raw rice makes about 3 to 4 cooked cups. In the pressure cooker it takes 25 minutes at pressure and on the stove top it cooks in about an hour. I think that the taste is wonderful. It's a whole grain (although not a true grain) and has a fairly low glycemic index (GI). It's a good food choice.

So, when the young cashier, remarked that the wild rice was expensive, I was surprised. He didn't consider the package of Spanakopita for my son expensive at $3.99 but the rice for a dollar more was. He said, "But it's rice," as if that made it inferior to already prepared food.

I think that this is one of the current issues in society -- our priorities are not working. We don't think of good, whole food as important and want our food made for us.

I say, "Let's go back to basics and let our bodies work as nature intended them to." I believe that it will improve our individual health and that of our society.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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