A couple of years ago, when I started hearing a lot of buzz about The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I picked up a copy at the library. And then I flipped through it, saw that the print was a wee bit small and that it had over four hundred pages and returned it to the library unread. Yes, I am a true inspiration.
Then it was picked for one of my bookclubs this month and I started it several weeks ago in order to give myself time to work my way through it. And, my heavens, I couldn’t put it down. It combined two of my very favorite topics – food and finances (how food prices are driven, the government’s financial involvement in the food chain, etc). I was absorbed through almost all of it (I got a little bored during the section about hunting wild pig in Northern California).
And then, much to Bart’s dismay, I checked out (for the third time) Food, Inc. and finally watched it. He watched too. And we both loved it.
What I liked about the movie was the encouragement of ways you could make a difference. Because I keep my grocery budget as small as I can, I figured my money didn’t make much of a difference one way or another.
I don’t feel that way anymore. I’m still not willing to spend $11 for a single chicken breast or something, but I am willing to spend a little more in some areas and cut back on products that I don’t want to be supporting. I’ve heard for years about “voting with your food dollars” and not really bought into that whole premise, but I recognize clearly now that even my few dollars a week either supports or doesn’t support enormous corporations with only the bottom line in mind.
I signed up for a CSA box a few weeks ago (I split it with a girl in my ward so that I’m not 1. drowning in bok choi and 2. spending my entire budget on vegetables) and I’ve found a woman who lives nearby who sells eggs from chickens she raises in her backyard for much less than it costs to buy cage-free organic whatever eggs at the grocery store.
I’m not really in a position to eat in the most sustainable, perfect way possible. Few people are, probably. But I can make a few changes in what I do and right now that’s something I can feel good about.