Foodie Underground: Trentasize It

Creeping ever closer to the McDonald’s model, Starbucks has poured it on with the new Trenta serving size. Do we need another supersize product that tempts our taste buds and throws rationality out the door? Of course not. No one should be drinking 31 ounces of double, mocha, frappy, whatever.

But we can’t blame Starbucks. Sure, the new cup can hold an entire bottle of wine (wait, does Starbucks sell wine?), but the company is a business, functioning on the principles of supply and demand, which means the coffee giant is marketing to a nation of consumers who are compelled to go bigger.

What drives us to big over small, more over less, when we know there are smarter choices?

To put it in the words of a friend who minces no words: “Maybe we’re just a confederacy of super dunces.”

Maybe. But as Sara Ost put it today, “you’re powerful,” and that means you can and should opt against 31 ounce drinks, unless of course it’s water. When it comes to food, it’s tempting to grab the fast, cheap and easy, but we all know that the real costs are externalized.

The less is more attitude when it comes to food is nothing new. Choosing less instead of more isn’t just beneficial to your physical health, it also keeps you more sane. Pick up any women’s magazine and you’ll find an article on simplifying your life. We spend ample amounts of time and money on organizational products, from planners to shelving systems, and yet we can’t seem to slim down our pantries.

How do we go about doing that?

1. Make a list. Check it twice.

Take a moment to go through your refrigerator, rethink your core items and narrow your shopping list to healthier options. Review your go-to recipes for the week and make a list of the staples that you need to keep on hand. Having a go to selection of fruits, vegetables and grains will mean you can whip together a handful of simple recipes without going beyond the basics.

2. Stick to what you know.

Trust your gut. Despite our love for Amy’s ready-made meals, we can’t rely on processed microwave dinners even if they’re vegan and organic. It’s too easy to let our brains slip in the heat of an eating moment. Try to keep your healthy, rational self in check.

3. Commit to reducing.

Maybe it’s your guilty pleasure of afternoon pudding cups or a morning break of a muffin, but above all, start small. No one is asking you to revolutionize your cooking ways, but just like you slowly start cutting out single use plastics and replacing them with reusable bags, you can do the same with your food choices. Organic dinner party? Check. All fruit smoothie instead of the double whipped vanilla latte? Check. Handful of almonds instead a snack bag of Cheetos? Check. After all, constraints don’t limit your creativity, they fuel it.

Image: jenny downing

Anna Brones

Anna Brones is a food + travel writer with a love for coffee and bikes. She is the author of The Culinary Cyclist and Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Catch her weekly column, Foodie Underground.