Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I fixed us a pretty nice dinner last night.

Line caught wild cod, organic broccoli, organic fingerling potatoes dressed with from the farm butter combined with chopped chives from the garden. It was tasty, nutritious, and didn't take me over 40 minutes, start to table. As a matter of fact, it took us less time to eat the food than it took me to fix it.  Much less time.

I'll admit, that bothers me. It is my unscientific theory that years of bolting down less than tempting public school cafeteria food has resulted in rushed eating habits that are very difficult to overcome. I am embarrassed to admit it but if we order the types of dishes that are mostly already cooked in a restaurant and they aren't busy, we can swoop in, order, eat, and be walking back out to the parked car again in a little over an hour.

Even though we are fast eaters, I still try to go with a slow food approach to procuring and preparing ingredients for our meals. My other unscientific theory being that we are what we eat, that our palates are developed enough to enjoy, however briefly, the food we snarf, and in the end our bodies benefit whether or not we bolt the stuff down. I go to the trouble because it is worth it. We can slow down and eat at a reasonable pace any time we want to.

You know, because we are in control. We are after all intelligent, experienced human beings. Not animals.  We are not sophisticated perhaps but fast eaters or not, we certainly can tell shit from shoe polish.

Or could we..........According to a study reported in a working paper* for the American Association of Wine Economists (yes, yes the AAWE!) posing the eternally burning question of "Can People Distinguish Paté from Dog Food?", the answer is a humiliating........no.

(*Working Paper #36 if you want to download it in toto).

Really. This does leave me wondering why, if we are going to mostly throw our food into our mouths as quickly as we can around here, I continue to bother trying to diversify our menu, worry about securing the freshest ingredients and so on.

To the study humans' credit they did rank the dog food as the "worst tasting" of the blended meat products they were asked to sample, but when asked to single out the dog food, they just couldn't suss that out with regularity.

I wrestle what kind of person would agree in advance to taste a series of products if they knew one of them was going to be dog food. Others have raised the issue of why the folks wouldn't have logically assumed the worst tasting product was the dog food just on general principles.I don't know. Maybe they ate it too fast.

Here I am worrying if the water I washed the jars in is hot enough and if it will be OK if I mix loquats from our yard with organic strawberries because I didn't get enough and I wanted us to have a steady supply of healthy jam this coming year.

Do they make jam for dogs or cats?I may never eat paté again.

Are you convinced you could tell the difference? Does knowing this have any impact on how much you will spend on food? On what choices you will make in terms of what you will eat in future? Feel free to weigh in with a comment. I'd enjoy hearing what you think!

No comments: