Hiking Food : Hidden in your Supermarket

Continuing the theme of trying to get inspired by lunch in the bush, I recently decided to spend some quality time browsing the shelves of my supermarket, to see if there were any hidden gems just itching to get out into the wilderness.
I came to realise that I have developed shopping blinkers when it comes to scanning shelves for familiar brands, packaging or solutions. I’m sure some advertising market researcher would be able to explain the reasons and psychology behind this, but for me, it felt like I was shopping in a foreign country. I was suddenly seeing things on the shelves that I walk past everyday and seeing familiar products in a new light.

All wasn’t gloss and excitement though, the grocery Tombraider in me discovered a few things that are best left on the shelves… or even buried in said tomb.
The winner of this category would have to be anything with the fetching ingredient of Mechanically Separated Chicken in it.

Mechanically Separated Chicken

Mechanically Separated Chicken anyone?

Yep, this little gem, with it’s somewhat industrial sounding name, is about as far from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as you can get.
And with a name like that, is it any wonder that it is usually found tucked up tight inside a tin with other serial offenders such as MSG and TNA’s*?
So unless you’re happy to chow down on a series of numbers and hormone pumped, pulped chicken…(and I mean every bit of it), I’d give this little gem a miss.
So I encourage you to put aside some time for quality shelf browsing and not only in your supermarket, but head to the health food store and (my personal favourite) the Asian grocery store.

Asian Supermarket Gold

A Treasure Trove in the Asian Supermarket

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know what something is or how to use it. If you get the cold shoulder or find that language is a problem, find another shop. You’ll need to take off your rosé-coloured, blinkered, pre-conceived shopping goggles and enter with a fresh approach, asking yourself how different things could be used, how they would travel and deal with some of the conditions that you may find in the bush.

Oh and remember, (almost) everything tastes good in the bush… Although I’ve never had much luck with dried fish!

*Three Number Acronyms

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  1. Ken says

    An acronym should be letters, so I assume you mean a three number code. The alternative is a TLA there letter acronym if it contains letters. There are worse things than mechanically separated chicken which is roughly what we do with a chicken anyway. An alternative is to soak the chicken carcass in a solvent which causes all the bits of chicken to flake off and are then separated off and the solvent removed leaving something that is sort of chicken, and can be used in chicken products and included in the percentage of product that is chicken. I seem to be less enthusiastic about anything where I can’t see lots of chunks, although chicken noodle soup on a bushwalk is a great dinner starter and a cup a night shouldn’t kill me.

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