practical aesthetics

With my new food-centric life, I'm now in the grocery store and farmers' market 2-3 times a week. That's about 2-3 times more often then I was previously. This seems a reasonable amount when eating fresh. When I lived in Rome I noticed people would stop at the Campo de Fiori every day after work. Italians have tiny dorm size refrigerators they barely keep anything in because they mostly eat what they bought that day. This is common sense to them, so foreign to us.

Luckily I learned to enjoy the shopping. Partly it's that I like making a pleasing still life by filling my cart with produce. It's less fun shopping for unattractive, color-clashing packaging. The more beautiful my cart looks, the more healthy it is, really. And adding farmers' markets this summer has brought adventure and suspense to food gathering.

While I was getting the food part down, I was accumulating a mountain of plastic shopping bags I felt pretty bad about, as no trick could make me remember my reusable Stop & Shop bags. I read a blog that suggested buying beautiful shopping bags would make you remember them. I found these big sturdy ones, made of that flat plastic stuff used in bundle packaging. And indeed, I love them so much, I've never forgotten them. Aesthetics have practical applications.