Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Yesterday I began reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. (When I’m finished, I’ll be sure to do a book review for whoever may be reading this blog. Probably no one, but oh well.) Later, I found myself at the local whole foods store (Pomegranate Market) wandering the aisles, comparing unit prices and competitors’ prices on such things as coconut oil and free range organic eggs. An hour of perusing and all I left with was exactly one pound of the cheapest of their soft-skinned organic fruits, which happened to be some lovely crimson-fleshed plums for $1.99/lb.
Let’s condense that into one sentence: I started reading a book about the chaos of dietary culture in America and then wandered through an organic grocery store for an hour without getting anything but a few plums.
I think the Omnivore is me, and my dilemma is debilitating. I shouldn’t be spending half my weekly take-home pay on food from the grocery store. Nor should the food that is most affordable be so loaded with chemicals and additives that the ingredient list is longer than this blog post. Where is the middle ground, people? Why is it that the more chemicals we add to something, the less it costs? Is it just me, or is that backwards? An ear of corn, grown naturally, picked, and left untouched should cost so much less than the same ear processed and altered to oblivion in a lab, shouldn't it? Doesn't that processing cost something extra? But hey, I'm just an ignorant bystander.
I know the argument for why organic whole foods cost more, but I don’t really buy it. They don’t HAVE to cost more. We knew nothing BUT organic for the first few centuries in America, and now suddenly it’s marketed as some higher plain of eating that only the rich can attain.
I am a cynical woman when it comes to the food industry in our country. Capitalism is not the friend of the American eater. While I can’t claim by any stretch of the imagination to be an expert on the complex realities of the American food industry, I will still put my opinion out there: the way we are artificially supporting ourselves with GMO foods, out-of-season staple foods shipped thousands of miles for our constant demand, box-to-table processed meals, and other “convenience” methodology for feeding America, we are really setting ourselves up for famine and starvation on a wide scale. We have an artificially-supported system. When those artifices fail, where is our back-up plan?
I’m not going all doom and gloom here, I am just explaining why I am praying for a change in our country and I’m starting with me. Part of why I started this blog was to keep myself accountable by regularly talking about the ways I’m simplifying my life, and one of the major ways I’m doing that is by eating naturally as much as I possibly can.
On that note, I'll just add that I am praying hard for a Trader Joe's to come to my town. Though perhaps in a year, I will have changed my tune and be praying rather for more small farms in my region to sell me more local goods.
*update on the NuttyRhubarb Oatmeal I made myself for breakfast yesterday and again this morning: DELICIOUS. I added a little honey today because the rhubarb is quite tart, but it was delicious without it as well.