I met Jamal at the grits counter. Jamal was a well fed black man around 30 wearing a white chef’s uniform. I went for the on-sale yellow grits in a flexible plastic bag, while he grabbed a larger quick-grits package. I started telling him about how processing and packaging depletes food value. He said he makes yellow grits at home, but when cooking for other people, he has to adapt to their tastes.
So I asked where he works, and he said here at Kroger’s. I said we need to talk more about educating people regarding nutrition. He kept right up with me regarding packaging and processing and the nutritional benefits of soul food, like grits and collards, but “people are set in their ways.”
I understand you’re not going to change their habits overnight, I said. The process is the goal. He nodded when I said people have forgotten how to cook.
So then I mentioned dried beans and grains for protein complementarity, adding Kroger is weak in the dried beans department. He agreed. “Publix is better,” says he.
“You’re right,” I said, but even Publix doesn’t carry my field peas. I have to go to Bi-Lo for them, and they are expensive, $2.84 for a 16-ounce bag.
He seemed interested in this little tip, so I told him to tell his bosses, and he said he would.