March 23, 2009

food, glorious food

For the past week I've been trying to gather my thoughts about eating locally, sustainably and organically. I'm a big fan of the movement, but in the past few weeks I've been really trying to see how my family can save money, and I have to wonder if making exceptions with our food choices is a wise thing to do.

Just when I was trying to grapple with these considerations, Alice Waters appeared on 60 Minutes (see above), talking about how electing to eat this way is a choice about how you spend your money. She prefers to spend more on quality food and not spend it on other things. I agree in principal, but recognize that there may come a point for families where they are not splurging on other expenditures and still cannot afford to eat this way.

I am so glad that Michelle Obama has decided to plant an organic garden at the White House. I really liked looking at the garden plan (see the article) and thought about how maybe that could be an option for us—planting much more of our own produce would surely be economical, right?

Today the New York Times published a fantastic article that really summarized much of what has been on my mind and it was so cathartic to read. My thoughts are better focused now.

I want to continue to support the movement as a whole, and will continue to shop the same as much as I can. I'm still collecting the pricing data for my grocery survey, by the way. As I look at the bottom line, I can really appreciate that in tight times people might not be able to pay $7.00/dozen of pastured, free range eggs. I personally think the eggs are so worth it, they are more nutritious, have lower cholesterol, better flavor and color and are insanely fresh. Not cheap, though.

It is easy to say that eating this way is so expensive, but I really don't think it justifies calling the movement (or those in it) as elitist. The idea is to change the food system so that quality food is available to everyone at a fair price. It would be better for people's health, the land, and the small farmers. I just hope I can keep supporting it as reality sets in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Check out the Environmental Working Groups Shopping Guide: It gives you a list of produce that in terms of pesticide contamination you'd definitely want to buy organic and a list of those that if grown conventionally you can get by with more safely.