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Is nothing sacred?

It’s no secret to many of us that the nature of agriculture and food supply is changing world-wide. While I am certainly not an “organic” only shopper or eater, I do like to be aware of where my food comes from and I do place importance on supporting a more local, organic approach to eating.

The problem is systemic and I am not going to argue for one side or the other because in reality-as with most things in life-accountability is individual. We truly vote with our dollars. ALWAYS. EVERY DOLLAR YOU SPEND IS A VOTE IN FAVOR OF A PRODUCT, A COMPANY AND A PRODUCTION STYLE.

I’ve come to the opinion that many of our present day issues (environmental, social, political, etc) are the direct result of simply too many people in the world. I believe this to be the case with food supply and agriculture. There are simply too many people to feed. Ingenious engineers and scientists have risen to the challenge and have managed to develop seed that grows larger, faster and easier. Successful (albeit unscrupulous) seed corporations and mega-farms have been generously rewarded (and rightfully so) for producing the world’s daily bread.

I don’t mean to belittle the lack of social responsibility and personal accountability that the government and big agriculture have often displayed in executed this tremendous feat. In fact, this post is sparked by an article I read in today’s paper about Canola seed growers finally getting the green light to litter their genetically deformed seed which, over time, will undoubtedly destroy Oregon’s world class grass seed industry. However, that’s another post….possibly entitled “Mr./Mrs. Inc.”

With all of that in mind,I ask myself how can I make a difference?

Well, first of all-I stopped buying Canola oil. It’s not good for me, anyway. Here’s why.

Secondly, I make an effort to not consume. Overall. What I mean is simply not buying so much stuff.This seems so simple, but in the US culture that is what we do-buy stuff. That’s what fuels our economy. Buying stuff. And we do it so well!

Every time I think about anti-consuming, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World: “Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches”. Certainly in the US, we have been thoroughly conditioned to believe this to be true. Even my own husband, a non-US native, was embarrassed by the patched I sewed on the knee of my son’s school uniform. He promptly bought him some new pants.

Finally, in my consumption, I try to always keep in mind that EVERY DOLLAR I SPEND IS A VOTE IN FAVOR OF A PRODUCT, A COMPANY AND A PRODUCTION STYLE. When at all possible I try to research my purchases and choose the best, most responsible option. If you are interested in doing the same thing here is a guide to start with:

Better World Shopper Guide


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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Books, Food, Local Portland, Oregon, Political Issues