Sunday, July 09, 2006

Black Pepper

My mom and I had lunch Saturday, while shopping for anniversary party supplies. She had a hard time, as she does every time she dines out, finding something that didn't have black pepper in it. She's going to a meeting of her high school class reunion committee soon, and she called the restaurant, and they said they really don't have anything without black pepper in it, except for salads, but the dressing all has the black pepper.

Zantac and some of the other acid medications specifically say not to eat black pepper when you're taking it, and yet, it's next to impossible to find prepared foods that don't have black pepper in it or on it. My mom can't eat it because it makes her sick.

My point is, hasn't anyone made the connection between the increase in acid reflux and stomach problems and the proliferation of foods that are cooked with black pepper? Sure, we're all under increased stress these days, but that can't be the only cause.

And why is it that corn needs to be sprinkled with black pepper? The breading for fried chicken? Grilled steaks? Green beans?

My problem is onions. I don't like them, and they make Tim throw up. Everyone puts it in their potato salad. Some restaurants put it in the coleslaw. I've even found 'em in the green beans. If I can't order it without onions, we won't eat it.

Tim says the problem is that the stuff is all being manufactured -- most restaurants don't cook from scratch anymore. The manufacturers, in turn, are making the stuff faster and cheaper, and they're starting with low grade, tasteless main ingredients, so they add the black pepper or the onions to try to add flavor.

Now, I've read that the veggies we have nowdays are not as flavorful as the ones we used to have. The flavor was bred out as they genetically manipulated the stuff to last longer, so it could be shipped from Costa Rica or wherever.

I wish I could afford to eat organic.

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