The Real Potato

Thanks, all, for your blog naming suggestions! There were some fabulous ones (No Pappadums came close) but I think I’m going with something from a little further back in my personal history:

The Real Potato.

When we were in high school, my friend Kara had a dream in which she was in a grocery store where all of the food was plastic, except for one real potato. The potato had a sign pointing to it that said “The Real Potato.”

For years we’ve been kicking ideas back and forth about doing something with that name. I think, in addition to being easy to remember and spell, it conveys something about what I’m trying to do with this blog.

I know that it’s a little much, sometimes, to be simmering dal for an hour and a half or spending an afternoon kneading dough or breading zucchini, although often I find the process as rewarding as the meal. But what I’m trying to do is to make real food– Slow Food, if you will– in the middle of a sea of plastic food.

I work full time, as does Joe, and we live paycheck to paycheck. We’re not the sort of foodies you see profiled in the New York Times, sitting in their Upper East Side co-ops arguing over whose olive oil is best. I don’t think that’s what real food is about. It’s about finding things that are fresh and local and authentic, however you choose to define that, and putting love into what you make. It’s about getting recipes from your grandmother, and your friends’ grandmothers from around the world. It’s about paying attention to your food– how it tastes, where it came from, and what goes into it. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take forever.

I’ve eaten plastic food my whole life– I’m a working-class American. But I don’t think that being working class means you have to settle for plastic (or high fructose corn syrup and red #5). And while more and more of our food comes from fewer and fewer sources, food-related problems like food allergies, diabetes, irritable bowel and celiac disease are on the rise. More people are being forced to look beyond processed food-in-a-box and find new ways to eat. That’s what this blog is about. I’ve been looking for better, tastier and less harmful ways to eat for a while now. I’m looking for the Real Potato. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

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