Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Grocery Shopping.

Does anyone else feel that grocery shopping has become an exercise in anxiety? Every possible purchase is fraught with dilemma. What can you buy that is not exploitative, environmental unsound, or unhealthy?

Processed food is horrible for you, so there goes your yummy cookies, Chef-Boy-R-Dee, and almost everything else convenient. Soda is liquid corn. Diet Soda is liquid corn with toxic chemicals added. But white sugar rots your teeth and poisons your metabolism. Corn and wheat product prices are kept low via farm subsidies which negatively impact upon every non-American farmer in the world. Whole milk is full of fat and skim milk tasteless. Yogurt is good, but the best kind comes in tiny little cartons that just go straight into the trash. And let's not forget BGH.

Beef and chicken come from death farms, and even the stuff that claims to be naturally raised or vegetarian doesn't necessarily mean humanely raised. Ditto for eggs. Shrimp harvesting has been implicated in dolphin deaths and farmed salmon is environmentally unsound and a threat to wild salmon. Everything else from the sea (other than the sardine) is over-fished or full of mercury. Most sushi grade fish comes from a Japanese firm that also sells whale meat.

And then there's the fuel cost to ship out of season veggies; packaging costs; and when you finally have wheeled your cart full of Western Decadence to the front of the store, you have decide if the planet shall perish in Paper or Plastic.

Sometimes it seems like the only solution is to eat Goya black beans right out of the can. Yum.

Sure you can go to the farmer's market and buy direct from the source, but then you've just added to your carbon footprint by driving there, and of course the farmer drove there too, and his means of production is less fuel efficient then big Agribusiness, so you've just undone some of the good you just did, plus if everyone did that farm workers would starve. You can join a co-op or go to Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck), if there's one around or you can afford it, but that still doesn't obviate the issues of what food is healthy.

Too much fat! Not enough fat! Not enough whole grain! Too much sugar! Too processed! Covered in pesticide! Out of season! Too much grain! Too many chemicals! Too expensive!

If only I could just eat the air, promised crammed. But instead, I will go finish my can of beans and start on a box of Ding-dongs--thus covering both of my bases.

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