“If it’s not local, seasonal, and organic,” I grandly declared five years ago, “it’s not worth buying.” I sometimes think back to that moment, to past me who didn’t know what the future held, to past me who had been such a food snob as to look down her nose at canned things, processed food, and cake and brownie mixes that came neatly packaged in boxes. I was a fervent campaigner for what I termed as “real food,” and I rejected everything that didn’t fit into my reality.

That reality was rosy. I was in a good place in my life, despite struggling with unipolar depression. I didn’t have the pain of dealing with scarcity in any way, whether that was food or money or love. I loved my life, and I had the peace of mind to cook for myself, which I did, often. I made the mistake of assuming that my reality at the time was going to be my reality always.

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