Food for Flight


I don’t like my food to come in plastic shrink-wrap or to be served on TV dinner-style trays. So, what’s a girl in flight to do? Last November, I arrived at the airport prepared. I was scheduled for a flight to the east coast, and with a parcel of groceries in hand–I was committed. I was not going to be purchasing any small, over-priced meals that were potentially warmed in a microwave. In hand, I had: a jar of crunch peanut butter, several pieces of whole fruit and vegetables, cottage cheese, raw hard cheese, avocado, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and dried meat. I was so pleased with my selection of nutrient-rich foods that, in theory, was going to last me the entire flight.

My bubble was burst as my parcel of food was being scanned for potential explosives or liquid content. My unopened jar of peanut butter and cottage cheese were pulled from the bag immediately. The attendant said, “These are considered liquids, you will have to throw these away”. I tried to argue that ground-peanuts are not considered a liquid, and that if the attendant would actually look at the cottage cheese in his hand, he would discover that it was actually a “dry-curd” cottage cheese (if such a thing actually exists). To my chagrin, my efforts to hold on to my food failed due to standard procedure.

A women looked at me skeptically as I tried to give her the unopened food, but it seemed shameful not to try. In the end, the best I could do was leave the unopened containers on the edge of a trashcan and board the plane hoping that the food would be eaten by someone.

This is one of the many reasons I do not enjoy flying. At the airport, personal freedom is restricted, and one’s choices are limited. This interaction started me thinking about how I might be better-prepared with my own food for flight the next time I travel. If I view the restrictions in service and the limitations as a challenge it will be interesting to note what I can get away with bringing or making myself.

This is a partial list of reasons that I am not interested in eating airplane food to begin with:

  1.  it is expensive
  2.  the size is small
  3.  there is excessive packaging
  4.  the food is not fresh
  5.  the food is often microwaved (no thanks)
  6.  the food is of poor-quality (not organic, not sustainably-sourced, not sustainably-raised, etc.)
  7.  the food leaves me hungry (what’s the point of eating, if you are still hungry in the end?)
  8.  the food tastes bad (who wants to buy food that tastes bad to begin with?)

Instead of eating airplane food, I’ve decided to commit to creating my own meals while on the plane with the nutrient-rich ingredients I bring myself. If you think picnic you have the idea. On this particular flight, and with the ingredients I had left, I was actually able to make a simple and yet tasty guacamole, that would have been considered a “liquid” had I mashed the avocado before boarding the plane. Not bad, for some of my food being spurned by airport attendants!

Guacamole recipe:

2 whole avocados

1/4 red onion

1/4 red pepper

a thin-skinned lemon

salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

Directions:

  1. Use the plastic fork or plastic knife that is provided by the airline to cut the avocado in half. Remove the pit and scoop out the avocado center. Mash the avocado content in the plastic water cup that is provided.
  2. Take out some cut onion and pepper pieces that you sliced the evening before, and mix them in with the avocado.
  3. With a plastic knife, take a whole thin-skinned lemon and slice off a section (not as difficult as you may think), squeeze the desired amount of lemon juice into your guacamole. You can use the rest of the lemon to flavor your water. If you do not have a lemon on hand, you might ask one of the flight attendants if they have any lemon or lime, as these are often served with drinks (it is, at the very least, a whole food).
  4. Mix in the salt, pepper and cayenne you brought along. Your guacamole is ready to eat!
  5. Enjoy alone or use as a dip for vegetables, tortillas, or anything else you brought to spread it on. I spread mine on some tortilla chips and added a little raw cheese!

As it stands, I will be leaving for the east coast in a few weeks, this time, I will be better-prepared and more creative with what I make. What else is there to do while on a plane for many hours?

Copyright©2009 Eat To Live Nutrition. All rights reserved.

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