There come times when I grow dis-satisfied with where I am. It doesn't have to do with Georgia or Screven or Dover or anywhere I am physically. A restlessness grows in my heart and there are more things I want to do in life than are humanly possible. The change I long to enact never comes fast enough or large enough. I'm feeling it in a big way today, likely having to do with what I'm reading and a grocery store.
So, I'm reading "Letters from the Hive" and just finished "Drifting into Darien" by our local Janisse Ray and I'm saddened in the manner that comes with beautiful self-sabotage and bittersweet helplessness, being one person among billions. I feel conflicted anyway every time I turn on a light or appliance, or run a freezer to keep garden produce (plain old hypocrisies), feel that no matter how far down the green road I go, that there remains room for improvement. Plus we're all in this together-it will take more people living better and more years than I have before I could hope to breathe truly clean air or drink uncontaminated water; we are a global community sharing consequences.
True, I shouldn't discount the positives of what I'm doing with my life and I can't hope to know how I'm affecting my customers and friends, so I try to not get discouraged when it feels like it's little me up against corporate greed, plutocracy and blind consumerism. And how can we even try to vote for the world we want when our capitalist society is hell-bent on keeping us in blinders to make a buck? Or in stark reality, most of us simply can't afford to vote how we would want to?
My food habits are always improving (because there's always room) and I want to share a neat-o app we found for smartphones. "A buycott is the opposite of a boycott. Buycott helps you to organize your everyday consumer spending so that it reflects your principles."
We were out of town yesterday and stopped at a grocery on the way home (super-bummed the health food store in Jesup is closed on Sundays). Mike was craving ice cream but of course reading labels means no ice cream...rBGH, mono and triglycerides, HFCS, preservatives, etc. Dispirited, we opted for juice (which I know, fresh juice is better and I'm holding a petroleum-based plastic bottle that traveled across the country via fossil fuels). Grabbed a couple Naked bottles and headed out. Continued our trek and remembered the boycott app. Turns out Naked is a subsidiary of Pepsi, which uses GMO products and lobbied against Prop37 in California. Screw you, Naked. I scanned the label and wouldn't have purchased it if it read "Pepsi" and that's probably what they're counting on. And the grocery store itself felt indicative to me of this country's problem with food. The very first thing you come to is chest-high display running the width of the store-twinkies, hostess, I don't even know all the names. Boxes and boxes of brightly-colored poison and imitation food products. The ends of aisles butting up to this display? One containing pork rinds, another Hershey's syrup, another Piggly Wiggly t-shirts (don't even get me started on cotton herbicides and 80% of clothing purchased annually in the US going to landfills), another did have a shelf of canned corn and a shelf of boiled peanuts, but sandwiched with Capri-sun on top and bottom, another of Manwich, and a display of "juice" that on closer inspection was sugar water with artificial flavor, petro-based dyes and corn syrup. If you make it past all this, there is the far-off land of "fresh" produce. Our brains already crave sugar, salts and fats, from when these things were scarce and we evolved to get them when the gettin' was good, but couple that wiring with this grocery store layout and most of us are doomed.
We passed a family of five doing their shopping, and I wanted to cry. Three skinny, very pale children, with dark circles, looking all-around unhealthy; the cart was full to the top: fruit-loops, captain crunch, white bread, bologna, soda pop, microwave pizzas, and they were deciding on ice cream sandwiches. Even for those who still cook? My mom did an excellent job feeding us with what she had, but now I think about the mashed taters being full of pesticides, the butter- antibiotics, growth hormones and rBGH, the bread with bleached, processed, nutritionally-devoid flour. She kept cooking the way her family always had, baking bread, making noodles, but the landscape of her ingredients changed without her knowing. Don't take a label's word for it; find out for yourself. And information is power. We need to get the power back in the hands and forks of people, regular ol' people.
And that is my rant for today. Please feel free to talk at me about foodstuffs, although I am more composed and slightly less "ADD" when I write. Tootaloo!!