Saturday, October 10, 2009

Train fare

As a way of seeing if my general impressions are accurate, I decided to pay attention to what my fellow passengers were eating and drinking on the subway today. In all, I observed 11 people with foods and/or beverages. I took notes on my phone and after a ride into and out of the city, I had the following list (this is everything I observed, nothing has been left out):

1 young boy: Skittles
2 teen guys: Pepsi, pizza
3 young women: Starbucks, Smartfood popcorn, chocolate bar
1 young man: giant cupcake (carrying it in a clear plastic container, not actually eating it)
1 middle-aged woman: small package crackers or cookies (not sure which)
2 middle-aged men: Pepsi, Monster Energy drink
1 older woman: potato chips & Tropicana juice cocktail

...and of course...
1 oddball (me): whole grain rye levain with soft spreadable raw milk cheese

After dropping off the family compost, shopping at the farmers' market, going to a dress delivery/fitting, to the bank, and to Whole Foods I was quite hungry myself (having eaten only brown rice with honey & milk for breakfast), so I picked up a plastic knife on my way out of Whole Foods and enjoyed a wedge of bread and some gooey delightfully sharp raw milk cheese from the farmers' market. I have been known to actually spread butter on bread in the middle of a crowded train, so clearly I am no stranger to eating on the go; however, I only do this when extremely hungry and try my best to avoid eating on the train if possible. So far the trend isn't catching on with anyone else, but I find that this way of eating is really quite convenient with a little previous planning, and no one could argue with the fact that it is far healthier and better for the environment, not to mention the local farm economy!

Of course, I realize that the selection of foods and drinks being consumed by subway riders is a huge indication of what's readily available in the bodegas and news stands, and I for one have certainly had to come a long way from my days of Sun chips and chocolate milk. Still I hope for a brighter food future for my fellow passengers. For now, however, with our societal propensity to rush about with insufficient nutrition under our belts, most of us are basically doomed to rely on stimulating pick-me-up snacks and beverages. The times it hits me the hardest are when I sit across from 3 and 4-year-olds drinking from bottles of Coke they can hardly even hold. I'm just glad this wasn't a sight I had to see today.

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