Saluting 10 Ways to Eat Healthy at 7-11
Finding sustainability is a process. For me, it took years of kitchen experimentation. I started with a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, bathed them in I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray and topped it with an economy-size jar of Cajun seasoning. I know, every item I mentioned should be charged with sustainable foul play. But it’s a process. Not only learning what tastes good together (not frozen vegetables soaked in spray butter), but learning about ingredients themselves. Fresh vegetables would be better. Fresh vegetables in real butter would be even better. And in-season vegetables would be better yet.
When I recently stopped in 7-11 to grab a carton of ice cream (sometimes coffee ice cream is mandatory), the multiple rows of fruit stunned me. Fruit in 7-11. Of course the rest of the aisles burst with high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors, but it’s still a positive first step. Remember, it’s a process.
Habit forming springs from a lifetime of choices. Habit breaking is difficult and finding new routines can be even harder, especially when deciding between cheap calories (a bag of chips at $1.50) and more expensive nutrients (a cup of fruit for $3.10).
The fruit at 7-11 is not sustainable. There’s pineapple imported from Central America and apples shipped from Washington State, where they could be easily brought in from less than 100 miles away. (The 7-11 under inspection stands in Washington, D.C., and could draw apples from farms in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland, as the farmers markets do.) Other sustainable errors include over-packaging and out of season produce.
Although 7-11 is a chain, it doesn’t get a pass from selling local goods. I know this, at least from my amateur scouting reports, because my favorite potato chips, Herr’s, can only be found in 7-11s in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If this massive provider of convenience food can work with local snack food brands, then they should be able to reach out to local farms as well. Accessibility to healthful food remains a major barrier in the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Even if in the land of bureaucracy, a farmers market can open near the White House, then there’s hope for the rest of the country. Even if it’s the fruit we find at the corner store.
10 Ways to Eat Fruits and Vegetables at 7-11
1. Rustic Fruit Mix: pineapple, grapes, apples, oranges and strawberries; 16 oz for $4.19
2. Fruit Trio: pineapple, watermelon and mango; 16 oz for $3.89
3. Grab Apples (slices of apple); 16 oz for $3.99
4. Deluxe Salad: romaine, cheese, red cabbage, tomatoes, carrots and apples; 10 oz for $2.69
5. Pineapple Cup (chunks of pineapple, from Costa Rica); 8 oz for $3.19
6. Fruit To Go: cantaloupe, honeydew and grapes; 8 oz for $2.69
7. Apples (from Washington State); whole for $1.69
8. Banana; whole for 69 cents
9. Orange; whole for $1.39
10. Baby Carrots (peeled, from California); 3 oz for 59 cents