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On Your Table Blog

August 9, 2018

What I learned on my summer vacation

Eye-opening choices

What I learned on my summer vacation

By Carie Moore

We just took a mini-vacation before harvest and school. It was great to get the kids away from home after being here all summer. We didn’t have room to pack much so I knew I would be hitting stores in each town to grab what we needed and cook old-school over fire.

old-school open flame sandwiches

My vacations are busy relaxed, if that makes sense. I like to plan outings at each stop, yet make sure a couple mornings or nights are relaxed by the fire. Surprisingly, this was probably our healthiest trip ever. We did sandwiches and veggie trays for lunches, fruit and cereal for breakfast, snacks varied by where we were, and we were very active. A lot of walking, swimming, hiking, and just plain moving and keeping the body busy.

It also gave me a chance to check out different stores in other cities. I was shocked at the variety out there in the grocery stores. For instance, I wanted an easily grilled supper and breakfast while we were in one cabin. So, I bought 88-cent tongs and I wanted burgers but didn’t have a bowl or seasoning and I wanted something healthy. They had 3 kinds of turkey pre-made patties; usually I just see those in beef. They had egg whites to make sandwiches and of course the precooked bacon. Those outranked fast food breakfast sandwiches! Threw on some ham from the lunch meat we had. It was so good. Would I buy them every day? No, because they were a little more expensive. But for what we needed them for, it was still cheaper than dining out for every meal.

Sometimes we turn up our noses at all the choices and think, “Are people really that lazy?” I see now and stand corrected, that a lot of those easy items aren’t because people are lazy. Suppose a limited income family had their utilities turned off or a homeless person needed a meal. Pre-hard-boiled eggs? I used to be like are you kidding me? Well, if you don’t have power, or water, or a pan, how do you make them?

We have so many choices and options. Cost effective is circumstance dependent. Who knows where companies get their ideas for some products? Maybe it’s the camping family, the dorm living college students, the homeless sitting by a fire or the struggling family trying to get to pay day.

I learned more on my vacation about food with a trip to a far away grocery store than I did at any workshop or training about consumer choices in the past year. Just as we all want consumers to see with eyes open, sometimes we as farmers need to take off the blinders from time to time as well.