Friday, February 18, 2011

What We Eat

If you're doing the shopping or just reading the news, you've probably realized that food prices around the world are going up. Brazil is no exception. A while back, I remember reading a slideshow or a book that showed families from around the world sitting around a week’s worth of their groceries and a dollar figure. It was pretty shocking. But also interesting. Because it's kind of cool to see what other people put in their carts, right? I know I'm always checking out (and judging) the people in line with me, checking out their food choices and trying to guess what sort of lives they lead. So here's your chance to peek into my shopping cart, which came to R$186.54.

[1/2 pineapple, 2 grapefruit, 3 plums and mangoes, 4 peaches, a bag of grapes, one bell pepper, 2 cartons of eggs, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, green onions, spinach, basil, asparagus, four carrots, two onions, 1 L olive oil, 3 trays of beef, 1 tray chicken breasts, spicy olives, mozzarella cheese, Minas cheese, sliced ham, 1 kilo of butter, cream cheese, 2 liters of milk, 1 liter mango juice, 250 g coffee.]

This is more or less what we’ll eat over about two weeks, with the exception of the olive oil and the coffee. I have some stuff in the freezer, my pantry is full of staples (flour, rice, beans, tomato sauce and capers), and we're good on wine and chocolate, so it’s not 100% indicative. Also, I splurged on things like asparagus and mushrooms, which are pricey, because I wanted to have something different for weekend breakfasts. I couldn't justify organic chicken. It was too expensive. My nearly 500 grams of chicken breast was R$9; the organic ones, same size, were R$19.99. :(

Oh, and we don’t really eat this much butter in a month, let alone 2 weeks! I’m stocking up because it was under R$3 for two sticks; usually it’s in the R$4 range. It doesn't go bad, so when it's on sale and I have baking planned, I buy lots.

Can you tell what sort of lives we lead from my shopping trip? If I was to judge myself, I'd assume that either we have a full-time cook or someone in our household is a stay-at-home, because almost everything is going to require cleaning, dicing, etc...before it can be cooked. There are no processed foods, which would lead one to believe that we're "super healthy" which is a lie. I just prefer to make my own junk food or import it from the US/Canada!

Are food prices in your area starting to get scary?


KimbraSue said...

I have to say that I hate grocery shopping for some of your reasons mentioned. Living in a "meat and potato" small town means things like fresh veggies and fruit and natural/ organic items are either EXTREMELY pricy or non-existant. I get frustrated because even though I don't have time to make all my own food from scratch or make my own junk food, I wish I had the option and variety to incorporate some of it into a daily/weekly diet. Props to you for being able to make your own foods. I look forward to the day when I can do the same.

Sarah B said...

I'm amazed how little milk and juice you'll get through in 2 weeks. Maybe it's the toddler in our household, but we consume about 12 litres of milk and 10 litres of juice in 2 weeks!!

--jenna said...

KimbraSue: I dread the day we return to a place that has seasons for exactly that reason. When I was in Indiana last year, it was depressing to walk through the veggie stands...

Sarah: The juice is actually just for when guests come! I don't really care for how syrupy the juice is here and we usually make our own iced herbal/green teas or drink water instead. I use milk for coffee and tea and the occasional glass of chocolate milk. One liter usually does it for a week...but then again, we don't have a 2yr old!!!

Ellen said...

It was a book- you gave it to me for Christmas a few years back. Touching every continent, it showed a week's worth of food for a family (hopefully considered an average family with an average number of children for the country, the US example had two children, the Peru example had four)and included a recipe using traditional foods (the german recipe included interesting cheeses and the Sudan recipe had a beef and onion stew.)
It was interesting, but I think I let is somewhere at Mom's house.

I LOVE grocery shopping! I dont enjoy cooking so much, but I've always enjoyed shopping for food. On the other hand, I despise shopping for fruit and veggies at the store. I want markets, stands where the fruit is piled up in a big pyramid. I hate that about Canada.

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