The Ruby Red

I just had a grapefruit. The saying goes: the devil is in the details, but I tell you, God is in the details. Fast food, processed food, is killing us. Every day, I need to eat lunch. Every day the fast food corporations try and provide that food — and it’s not good. How to stay healthy?

Yesterday, instead of going to McDonalds or Wendy’s or even Subway, I went to a local health food grocery. Every day I drive past it; Venturing in, just seemed unnatural. Who would be inside there? The fear of that place kept me driving right on past even though I knew the alternatives we slowly, habitually clogging my arteries.

So I go in, on this one rainy Monday. Even as I turn my car in, I thought I was making a mistake. But I bravely trudged in, fought the instinct to hit the drive thru. Instead of some revelation, I found a simple grocery store. The packaging was foreign to me. The lighting was not stark green-white fluorescents of the uber-market I have become accustomed to.

I walk through the strange aisles and find a sandwich stand. Hmmm, maybe I can get lunch instead of shopping, I suppose. Ahh, but there’s a line, I move off, trying to be nonchalant about the whole thing. Yes, I’m just shopping; I do this all the time. The coffee naturally draws me in and the teas seem normal. In the whole-wheat section, I pick up a box of stone ground sesame crackers. What could be better than stone ground? I feel healthier already. The cooler section contains many strange things, but I find a blueberry yogurt.

At the clearance rack I find two carrot juice drinks and then back to the lunch bar. As I actually read the menu boards I realize it’s a juice bar. “Do you have any wraps?” I ask. The girl points me to a cooler. I find something for lunch and move towards the register, where the ruby red grapefruit catches my eye. Above the counter, a sign reads, “Organically Grown”. What could be better?

Ultimately, my fear of going into a health food grocery store has been overcome. Silly isn’t it? I got some great stuff and have been enjoying a week of great lunches that don’t put me to sleep.

Back to the grapefruit. Have you ever looked at what a marvel of engineering a grapefruit is? Beautiful and seductive on the outside, the bright yellow with reddish-pinky highlight beckons one to look deeper inside. It smells wonderful. The texture is supple, yet firm. The skin keeps all sorts of bad things from eating it. It keeps the rain on the outside, and the dirt. I was going to add pesticides, but this was grown without them. As I open the fruit and peel away the rind, you find a soft, fuzzy, pink layer that insulates the juicy goodness inside. Rip it in half and that coating just peels away to finally show me the darker, ruby red cells of fruit. Fuzzy layer removed, each part of the grapefruit can be separated, and my hands are barely sticky or wet. Within each cell are hundreds of individual containers of juice and pulp

As I eat each piece, alone in the office kitchen, I wish there were someone to share this divine gift with. Alas, they are all off to McDonalds.

There must be intelligent design in the universe to bestow upon us such things as the Florida grapefruit. Random molecules colliding, evolution surely cannot account for such perfection.

To conclude my escapade, allow me to make a suggestion to you. Explore your world. Break out of your routine and discover the world around you. Try something new. Eat good food and get in shape. As the holiday season arrives, bring a bag of grapefruit instead to the party, and share the joy.

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