What Would You Do?
After settling into a booth, I began browsing the menu trying to predict which item would be my best bet. The dinner special seemed over priced and heavy, so I picked a BLT with a green salad on the side. When N's dinner salad arrived I noted that the dressing wasn't on the side (dang! I should've anticipated that!), although, I have to admit, the iceberg lettuce wasn't a surprise.
When the waitress brought over our orders, I picked up my fork to begin digging into my salad and after my first bite I stopped. I knew that taste and it wasn't a warm fuzzy food memory. In my youth I worked at Sizzler and then later at a little deli that specialized in "pocket sandwiches", they both used a powder called "potato white" or a member of the sulfite family (mental note: must tell N it can also be used to get rid of tree stumps). It's a sulfite used in rinse water to prevent vegetables from turning brown or wilting. Restaurants stopped using Sodium metabisulfite in 1986, but it's still found in pre-packaged items purchased from distributors.
I honestly tried, but couldn't take another bite of my side salad. And when the waitress stopped by our table at the end of the meal, I didn't tell her. My justification for not explaining why my salad was uneaten? They're a small place, specializing in simple food. Would they care if I told them I could taste the sulfites or that I believe it's an all around bad idea? Was I being overly critical after already trying to work past the dressing served on the salad and the use of iceberg lettuce? Are there times when it's better to just keep your mouth shut?