I was listening to NPR this morning and they were interviewing Mary Roach, science writer and author of Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. Apparently, the alimentary canal is the tube from the mouth to the rear. In the book she covers topics like…
- How much can you eat before your stomach bursts?
- Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself?
- Can wine tasters really tell a $10 bottle from a $100 bottle?
- Why is crunchy food so appealing?
- Can constipation kill you?
The book sounds really fascinating and kind of gross. Anyway, one of the things that she discussed in the radio interview that caught my attention was that the average American only eats about 30 different foods over the course of the week. She said this definitely changes if you are traveling and eating outside of your home a lot but for most of us, 30 is the average.
So I decided to try and make a list of the foods that I almost always eat in a week (based on what I ate last week) to see how many I come up with. Interesting exercise, huh?
- Lettuce (iceburg, romaine)
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard)
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans)
- Nut butters (peanut, almond)
- Sunflower seed butter
- Tomatoes (all varieties – cherry, whole, canned, sundried)
- Dried cranberries
- Cheese (parmesan, goat, goat gouda, feta, muenster)
- Tortilla chips
- Nut Thin crackers
- Artichoke hearts
- Greek yogurt
- Bread (sourdough, cinnamon raisin, wheat)
- Soup (varies)
- Peppers (green, red, roasted)
- Brussels sprouts
- Beans (black, chickpea, etc)
- Citrus (oranges usually)
- Frozen yogurt
- Toaster waffles
- Bars (Kind, Luna, etc)
Annnndddd….I think that’s all I’ve got. I didn’t know if I should separate out different types of cheeses, greens, tomatoes, etc. so I lumped them together. I also didn’t include beverages or condiments, seasonings, oils, etc.
So I’m above average but I still feel like I’m a pretty simple eater these days. I try to be creative with my meals but I know that I can be repetitive…especially with breakfast and lunch. And I’ve been so busy with work that my dinners are pretty formulaic too. Usually protein (chicken, salmon, pork) + starch (rice, quinoa, sweet potato) + veggie (broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, mushrooms). I have said this a million times but I would LOVE to get back to trying new recipes on a regular basis.
I think I’m probably not alone in this. It’s really easy to shop and quickly prepare food when you know what you like to stock your fridge with. And we are just creatures of habit. It would be interesting to know where other people are with their number of foods. Anyone want to count for comparison? Or just tell me in general…do you typically buy and eat the same foods on a regular basis?
And check out the Gulp Quiz in the New York Times to see “how intimately you know your innards.”
Hope you’re enjoying the weekend!