The midnight drive to find “fourth-meal”

Last night hunger drove me into an Albertson’s searching for burrito makings.  The crave isn’t odd for me, usually it’s satiated by a simple trip to Taco Bell, but not that night.  I’ve been trying to avoid fast food for a multitude of reasons lately only one of which being the fact that most chains don’t work to support their local community. Instead, I signed up to make the burritos by hand.  As an experiment I decided to buy all “organic” ingredient to see what the cost difference would be.

I haven't found any good local sources for avocados, boullion cubes or rice.

Beans: At first I couldn’t find any beans that were certified organic, until I found one white can of organic pinto beans.  After finding that first can, I realized for nearly every type of canned bean they carried, there was at least one organic option. My favorite part about buying 12 0z’s of organic pinto’s was the simplicity of its ingredients list, organic pinto beans, water and salt.

Price: $1.49

Non-organic alternaltive: $ .89 Extra ingredients: Calcium chloride(preservative) and calcium disodium EDTA(for color).

These are both chemicals that have been connected with stomach problems.  Here are a few reputable Web sites that show what these chemicals are used for and what their effects are

MSDS for calcium chloride

Calcium disodium EDTA


After beans I searched for meat.  The item nearest to organic beef that Albertson’s offers is a harmone free, grass fed beef.  Although technically not organic, which could be for any number of reasons, the option was still better than buying beef with packaging that can’t even promise its contents doesn’t consist of a cannibals.

Price of harmone-free, grass fed beef: $5.49 a pound.  Equal fat alternative:$4.49.

The movie “Food Inc.” does a good job explaining where our meat comes from and why buying local isn’t a bad idea.


Albertson’s had no organic alternative for tortillas.

The rest of the ingredients were already at my house: a two-year-old bag of rice, 2 WINCO avocados(not organic), boulion cubes( add to boiling water before adding rice to add a lot of flavor to the plain grain) and lettuce from the Milwaukie Farmers Market.

The final product, topped with roma tomatos and Tapatio!

I’m not going to say because I used a better beef and organic beans that the burrito tasted better, but it was pretty damned good and the fresher, cleaner ingredients didn’t change the flavor at all.  However, the knowledge that I didn’t partake two chemicals that are known to cause stomach problems is relieving to me (I have IBS and stomach problems I love to avoid).

This weeks pledge:

Watch labels and avoid foods with the chemicals calcium chloride and calcium disodium EDTA.


One response to “The midnight drive to find “fourth-meal”

  1. This recipe sound yummy! I am one of the people who often cook the late night meal for myself when I work late. Thanks so much for sharing.

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