The ethicurian dilemma? SOLE? Localvore?
What does it all really mean?
The blogosphere is humming with the buzz of what this is all about. And like any issue, you'll get as many responses as there are people with opinions. But here's how I see it.
Unless you have become one of those weird Air-ians, we've all gotta eat. And in my house, I want the best I can get for my buck. We are NOT a wealthy family.. we're just a normal fam in the 'burbs. And I mean the 'burbs. We live in the 'burbiest of 'burbs. So when I spend money.. ANY money, I want value. With 5 kids and 2 dogs THAT is at the heart of my decision to buy SOLE.
So, to restaurants. I WILL NOT PAY MONEY FOR CRAP. I get crazy cat-lady mad about places that serve swill.... This is not because I am a particularly great cook, but I do know what is good and what is not. I will NEVER pay $30 for a serve of bangers and mash, or corned beef, or pasta, NEVER. To me, that just isn't value. I'd rather got the parma and pot night at the Red Hill and Dromana RSL, and pay $10, knowing EXACTLY what I am about to get. I WOULD pay $30 for a plate of SOLE cheese, though... or considerably more for a fine dining experience that I couldn't do at home.
When I eat out, I expect the food is not just as GOOD as home... but substantially better... either taste or value wise.
So, to the food I purchase. I don't shop SOLE because I am a paid up greenie, or a hippy (altho I DO burn nag champa regularly!). I don't do it because I think that Elvis and JFK are beaming gamma rays down from the Mother Ship on my tomatoes.
I do it because it's CHEAPER AND BETTER THAN FOOD I GET FROM SUPERMARKETS!!
It's not hard, guys! Stop drooling into your faux Chanel handbags, while you listen to the piped-in bad 70's porno muzak at Slaveways and WAKE UP!
Who in their right mind buys a sachet of "Italian Herbed Potato Sprinkle" for $2.50 a serve?
Look at the ingredients, go the the herb aisle and buy a jar of oregano, a jar of thyme, a jar of rosemary and do it yourselves!! Save money, get Italian herbed taties, and have ingredients left over for another night.
Better yet, get a herb garden!!!
Get online... get good, ethical, local, sustainable food delivered. Hell, you don't even have to risk some nuffer scratching your beemer's duco by going to the shopping centre. And I guarantee you, that what you get will be better, AND CHEAPER that gas packed Slaveways crap!!
BE INFORMED.. Just because something has "organic free range fair trade" on it, doesn't make it so... again, get online and find out what all those funny little stamps Coles are using on their "organic" produce actually mean!
You don't need to drive 400kms to the Collingwood Free Range Children Market For Inner City Pretentious Wankers. You just need to ask a few questions. And be a bit organised.
You want good quality SOLE vegies? Get informed about what's in season and ask your fruiterer some questions. There are now Farmer's markets in almost every region of Melbourne. Make it a date with your sig other, or your kids. Or yourself. If your burning all those nasty fossil fuels to get there, see what else is around. We pass at least one Market every weekend on the way to take the kids to sport. Why not leave home an hour early and make a trip to the market garden, or the farmer's market part of doing something else?
Fact: I FEED A FAM OF 7 ALL THE FRUIT AND MILK AND VEGGIES AND BREAD AND CHEESE THEY NEED FOR $42 A FORTNIGHT.
Fact: I GET THE BEST QUALITY SOLE LAMB AROUND DELIVERED TO MY DOOR FOR $5 A KILO LESS THAN YOU'LL GET IT IN SAFEWAYS OR COLES.
And it's not about changing your diet from "normal" to some weird lentil-based fusion food.
You can have a lamb roast and all the trimmings SOLE, You can have SOLE bangers and mash. SOLE steak and salad. SOLE pasta.
With the Hollow Men predicting petrol at $86 a litre by close of business today, we are all watching our bottom lines. SOLE isn't just a hippy-dippy way of life. It is a real and viable way of shopping to SAVE MONEY!
So next time you wonder why potatoes cost more than truffles, just remember that reaching for that single serve sachet of gravy... or Cook-in-the-pot sauce... or Pour-on-Cheese has contributed to the rising cost of EVERYTHING.
Let's get back to basics. And save some money while we're about it