Found: A Line

From Monday, where do we draw the line when purchasing food products? I think its lame to go into debt for food. Some may disagree with me, that is fine. I feel like, in the interest of food humility, putting organic food on a credit card makes me someone I’m not. I try to keep the hypocrisy and pretending in my life to a minimum, and while I’m not perfect, spending our daily wages on our daily bread (and keeping it that way) seems to be a good food humility practice.

So, where to find the line?

I look to the Dirty Dozen – the list of the largest pesticide-load foods put out by the environmental working group. You can see the current list of fruits and veggies, and other helpful information, here.

I try to get free-range, no antibiotic meat, fresh-caught rather than farmed (for fish) whenever possible. This means saving up a lump sum for a local animal. Or, getting such an animals as a gift, when its not really in the budget (thank you, again, Mom and Dad – everytime I eat meatloaf I say a prayer for you!!). Ask your local store when the ‘meat markdown’ is, and then race to the store to get it. A friend says she often elbows slow people out of the way – I don’t know if I’d go that far, but just putting it out there. That’s how serious she is about it.

I like to buy local, organic, and fair trade, usually in that order. Local dollars help local people – I like that. A farm or operation might not be organic – yet- but with gentle encouragement and conversation, they just may become such an operation.

I am also a price-conscious person. By eating in season, I can *usually* find all produce, even organic, for around a dollar a pound! Yes, its true! I do participate in the Azure co-op, and will buy in bulk and freeze different produce items at times, especially when the discounts are big. This year, a goal is to ask more of the farmers at the market what kind of deal they could give me if I buy a large quantity for freezing. As much as I L-O-V-E local, I also have a family budget to keep and help to balance. I’m trying to be a good example for the government. Har Har…

2 thoughts on “Found: A Line

  1. Tammy says:

    I think the questions you are raising are really important. About a year and a half ago, I fed my family on the same budget that we would get if we were on food stamps (SNAP) and I learned SO much. It was hard but I think it was doable. I’m going to try to do some more experiments in this area later in the year.

    • Laura says:

      Living on the SNAP budget would be a very interesting challenge – what a great thing to do – I’m sure it was a very amazing and difficult thing to do.. But, what better way to truly know what people are going through, and know how to advocate for change from the inside out! I applaud you – thanks for sharing.

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