Monday, October 12, 2009

what i ate yesterday

yep. i'ma tell you.
first, you should know that i don't always eat this ridiculously badly. i mean i'm 5'10, 203, so it's not like i'm wasting away on rice cakes or anything... but yesterday was pretty crazy.

i don't count calories; don't keep track of what i eat. that's part of why i composed this list, which accounts for everything i ingested yesterday in order. i also did it because it occurs to me that, as a society, we rarely consider where our food comes from. how many people in the developed world hunt for their food? how many are subsistence farmers, or grow even a substantial portion of what they consume. where did your lunch come from? most people couldn't tell you. i'm conflicted as to whether i think that's a 'huge problem', but this blog is kind of about metacognition; about questioning the processes we take for granted, whether they pertain to pulling string from a skein or the way we live our lives in general.

so here you go... yesterday i ate:
• 8:15 am: half a chiquita banana
• 8:15 am: the last 6 oz. of a minute maid orange juice carton (no pulp)
• 9:00 am: toast with honey from a bee farm (do they call them 'bee farms'?)
• 11:45 am: a shit-ton of nacho cheese doritos dipped in tostitos queso 'cheese sauce'
• 11:45 am: carolina blonde ale
• 12:19 pm: marshmallows and graham crackers in chocolate fondue
• 12:37 pm: another carolina blonde
• 1:45 pm: a nathan's hot dog
• 4:49 pm: a reg. jersey mike's roast beef sub
• 4:49 pm: a tall glass of water
• 8:18 pm: a giant margarita

... you know... in text, that isn't nearly as bad as i thought. the queso and fondue back to back was decidedly NOT a winning combination, but i actually expected it to be worse. of those items, i have a pretty good idea where the banana, the honey, the beer, the chocolate, and the water come from. the other stuff (especially the "cheese", the hot dog stuff, and the doritos)... i have no idea. it's hard to eat something with reverence and gratitude if you have no idea where it comes from, you know? when i eat an animal, silly and antiquated though it may sound, i try to 'thank' the animal. i feel uneasy when i eat a nathan's hot dog, not because it's gross or anything (it's delicious)... but because what am i thanking? 12 animals? for bits of their feet or eyes or intestines?

i LIKE that when i twist a string, i know i pulled the thread off the spool, and that the thread was made ages ago from cotton fibers. i like that it's simple, and i can trace it to the earth in just a step or two, unlike most processed foods where the effort feels like the 'kevin bacon' game. i really don't know how to connect the Disodium Guanylate in my doritos to the earth, or to anything more simple. and yet, i love me some doritos.

since this project started for me 2 weeks ago, i've spent 4 strings. 4. never in my life have i gone through strings so slowly, and i don't think it's the inconvenience that's doing it. i think just the simple knowledge that i'm TRYING to make them last - that that's the POINT - has made it much easier. when they get too gross, i discard them (i guess i could launder them), but the standard of 'too gross' has definitely started to shift, and it occurs to me again that i'm gonna be on this journey for a good, long time.


  1. What would be even more interesting is if you could trace the spool back to the company that made it, the state/country, and the exact location of the field that the cotton bolls were taken from.

    But that would probably be impossible.

  2. I am Mr. Deffenbauh's eldest sister. When he told me about cones-to-balls I was so excited for him in part because what you guys are trying to do reminds a a great deal of what I am trying to do in my life. I work on an educational organic farm/nature preserve teaching children (and adults) about precisely where their food comes from. I was happy to read this entry in large part because of the connections you have made between our food system and the yo-yo culture. Bravo!

    -Try slaughtering your own chicken some day. As difficult as it is, it is truly liberating to be THAT responsible for what your eating.-