Peeping People’s Pantries

What could be more intriguing for a hard-core food fancier than a peek inside the food choices of other people? The Montreal Gazette obliges this culinary curiosity with a weeklong series titled “Shop Cook Eat Drink” that offers detailed food diaries. It’s Peeping Tom-ery at its most delicious.

In one installment, the newspaper’s restaurant critic describes her harried life balancing career, kids, and social obligations. Like the rest of us, she valiantly tries to serve her kids healthy dinners in a relaxed atmosphere. She mostly succeeds, except when she doesn’t:

I’m pinned to the sofa with my laptop and a phone stuck to my ear for the next three hours. I catch a minute at 4 p.m. to wolf down two granola bars for a late lunch, and drop everything at 5 p.m. to pick up the kids. The story is filed at 6 p.m., and at 6:01 I see my kids wandering around the kitchen eating cookies. Jesus! I completely forgot about dinner!

In the meantime, vegetarian writer John McFarlane ponders the cheap price of pineapple and vows to try to eat locally. In Montreal. In the middle of winter. He quickly begins to tire of root veggies.

Each diary also includes a Harper’s-style by-the-numbers breakdown of the week’s food choices, where McFarlane reports:

Number of times eating packaged organic products that made me feel like a yuppie: at least 10.

Number of ingredients in a Clif Bar: 28.

The series continues through the week, and includes such goodies as a video in which two reporters head out to the supermarket to film what’s in people’s grocery carts. Vegetable vérité at its best!

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