Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Cost of Time

Egads. Has it really come to this? Our lack of time to cook, and love of convenience foods can make us seriously sick, or kill us?

After making a friend's refried beans recipe, and finding it a hundredfold better tasting than the canned stuff, I started looking for recipes online for refritos negros, or refried black beans.

Almost every single recipe started with "one can of black beans". One can??? Why would I want to buy a CAN of beans, especially now that we find out they are all lined with Bisphenol A, when I can buy a bag of beans, supplying me with three times the food for the price?

Sure, that can of beans saves some time, but at what cost? How much further have those canned beans traveled in the extra step of going to the processor? How were those beans handled once there (recent botulism recall information here) Did you know that a certain amount of rodent feces and hair are acceptable in your food, and you'd be shocked to realize just how much that is (one rodent hair per 2-1/2 Tablespoons of cornmeal. Beans have no such standards, and are "evaluated on a case-by-case basis".)? How much more energy goes into cooking the beans, packaging them with loads of water in recycled (we hope) aluminum cans with non-recycled paper covering coated in (probably) petroleum-based ink, only to open it and dump out the water?

So, to save a bit of my time (and come on, really, how much intensive time does it take to watch beans simmer?) I get to eat rodent feces and hair-laden, over-salted, possibly botulism-tainted food, sent in heavy cans coated in toxic, cancer-causing chemicals, which require more petroleum to ship?

No thanks. I'll buy a bag of beans. At least I can wash them.

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