…well, not just any grocery store. Chuck’s Produce and Street Market in Vancouver, WA is my go-to place for groceries. I have many reasons, one being the wonderful ladies and gentlemen behind the deli counter who are so nice to my mom and myself when we shop on Tuesdays. *waves hello and gives thanks for the pickled onions*
Part of our produce selections was a bag of organic russet potatoes (a half a potato with vegetarian chili chases the winter chill away, fyi) and for the first time in my life I smelled a potato. Not that I could get away from it. That bag smelled so earthy, rich and yes, REAL. Those potatoes smelled as if they were just dug from the ground. I have purchased potatoes before (many times) but this was the first time that earthy smell really hit me. Think about it: the ground gave up this delicious, good for you potato. No added colors, preservatives, chemicals, nothing. Just potatoes.
For those who don’t eat a whole lot of “real” food, I implore you to become one with the glorious root vegetables that are prevalent this time of year. Oh, and put down those bags of baby carrots. Have a real carrot, with the green tops still on. Carrots are sweet, did you know, and the majority of their nutrients come from the skin and the layer beneath. Baby carrots are shaved down regular carrots, so the majority of the nutrients were wasted for the ease of convenience. Wash your carrots, then eat them. Don’t peel them.
It’s crazy but yes, a bag of potatoes inspired me for this post. It was a toss-up between the potatoes, or the amazing oranges that were available. Thin-skinned, easy to peel globes of nutrition. When I walked into Chuck’s I smelled the oranges before I saw them. I only got four of them, my mother doesn’t eat oranges because she’s been disappointed once the rind comes off. Not these. We have to go back to get more.
Chuck’s isn’t everywhere, sadly. For those not in the area, check online to see if there is an organic market in your area, then give them a visit. The earth gives up an abundance of fruits and vegetables, full of flavor and color and beauty. No big food marketing campaign and replicate what food can do in its natural state.