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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Every Vote Counts

I took last night off from blogging to do some very important research... watching the documentary Food Inc.  For those of you who haven't seen it, do, it is quite the eye-opener, very reminiscent of a Michael-Moore-style documentary.  You know the kind; evil corporations + greedy bureaucrats & politicians = the destruction of our health, well-being and happiness.  Yup, that about sums up the movie.  Even a year ago, this type of movie would have sent me into an absolute panic attack over how powerless we are as average citizens, and I would have spent days, weeks, even months, worrying about each and every thing that I put in my (and my son's mouth).  Eventually, though, I would have given up... after all, what could I possibly do about it?  How could I fight a fight so absolutely huge?  Today, I choose to look at the situation a little differently... you see, I do have some power and control over the situation, and this power lies in my role as a consumer.  The movie takes the very valid position that as consumers, we drive the supply and demand marketplace with our choice of purchases.  The key word there being choice.  No one is forcing us to eat ammonia-rinsed ground beef or genetically-modified soy products, we choose to do so, each and every time we stop at McDonalds or scan those processed food items through at the supermarket (I haven't eaten at McDonalds in 5 or more years btw... just making a point).

Now, logistically, the food industry has become so out of control that there are virtually almost no products in your average supermarket that you can purchase that haven't been somehow 'tainted' or influenced by the process of mass production (and all that comes with it).  However, there are certain things that you can do:
  • Buy organic
  • Buy what's in season
  • Buy local
  • KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING!
You as the consumer have a choice, each and every time a dollar leaves your wallet or your bank account.  It is ultimately up to YOU to decide how you want your food to be produced and by whom.  As the movie states, think of it as 'voting' three times a day.  You don't even have to 'go big' to start off with... lasting changes will more likely occur if you make small changes at first, because after all, every little bit counts.

I for one, found myself greatly saddened by the stories in the movie, and not just about the horrific treatment of animals, but also the human stories that were shared as well.  These corporations are treating humans much as they treat their animals, which to me, is simply unacceptable.  While I am still not following these practices as 'perfectly' as I should, my food consciousness is becoming more and more attuned with every food purchase that I make.  I plan on using my consumer dollars to vote for the small, organic farmers who are still trying to make an honest living in this crazy world.

There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Now there are tomatoes all year round, grown halfway around the world, picked when it was green, and ripened with ethylene gas. Although it looks like a tomato, it's kind of a notional tomato. I mean, it's the idea of a tomato. - Michael Pollan, a quote from the movie Food Inc.

All of that being said, I hope that I didn't spoil your day (or your appetite)!

Marebare :)

2 comments:

  1. very good blog. congratulations
    regard from Reus Catalonia
    thank you

    ReplyDelete
  2. I couldn't agree more! It's a great film... you should check out King Corn too.

    My stepmother, who is originally from Germany, and generally poo-poo's things like buying organic, was even swayed by Food Inc. However, about a month ago she called me and proudly announced that she was eating tons of ripe avocados because "they're in season!" I looked out the window as the snow was falling and pondered if it was worth trying to explain that "in season" in Chile is not the same thing is "in season" here! I fear something may have gotten lost in translation there, but at least she's trying!

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