I remember several years ago, when our oldest was barely a year old, and my Mom and her husband were visiting. As we sat at the table watching Grayson gobble up the blueberries, we made a comment about their price, and that if he kept up this pace with his blueberry consumption; our grocery bill would certainly go up.
Mom suggested we buy frozen blueberries, since they were much cheaper than the $4.99 a half pint we were paying (for organic). Every since that day, all the kids – and us adults, too – have been gobbling up frozen blueberries as a snack, in oatmeal and in muffins.
Although I am dedicated to keeping the freezer stocked with frozen blueberries, I still glance longingly at the fresh blueberries each week at the store. I then quickly shudder at the thought of how much I’d have to spend to satisfy my children’s seemingly unending desire for blueberries.
That is, until last week.
A full 18 ounces of organic blueberries was on sale – $3.99. I grabbed it and almost ran home with joy so I could put those plump berries in front of the kids. They grabbed them with their little hand, they plopped them in their mouths lie wide open just like a baby bird awaiting food from its mother.
Then it happened. I realized that I was a victim of my own mantra. No sooner had the kids put the blueberries in their mouths, than they spit them out and asked for the “cold ones.”
It took me by surprise. My kids not like fresh blueberries? They love fruit. This is the real thing. Enjoy it. Savor it. Remember this experience, ‘cause the price of blueberries is bound to go up next week.
Days later, the blueberries remained in the fridge – minus the numerous handfuls Greg and I stole on occasion. Today, I felt compelled to make blueberry muffins so that I could use some before they went bad.
I’m always talking about experiencing foods that are minimally processed, citing packaged or fast foods and how they are designed to dumb down the taste buds of consumers.
Now, I’m not saying that my choice of organic frozen blueberries falls in the category of a fast food meal of burger and fries, but it is a lesson in how a person’s palate is affected by what is put in the mouth. It becomes accustomed to what it is offered. And, if those taste buds are always offered highly processed salty foods, then that is what that person will come to desire. Similarly, if that person has grown accustomed to frozen blueberries, then why would they desire the taste of a fresh blueberry?
Lesson learned. I’m not sure I’ll stop buying frozen blueberries altogether. But I will be more aware of all the choices I make. And, the next time we happen upon a blueberry bush, I’ll be sure to fill my basket up (so much so, that maybe I’ll have to freeze some of them for a later date).