Each time we see a store displaying products that we believe harm our food system is an opportunity to help change things. If you say something, that is. And I will show you just how easy it is to speak up.
Yesterday, I was at a Connecticut Costco warehouse and was feeling good noticing they have been increasing the number of organic selections.
Then, I saw it. A big display of Roundup. It hit me like a freight train. Practically knocked me off my feet.
My first thought was, I gotta take a photo of this – like a train wreck – and say something to Costco management.
Enter a warehouse worker. I told him how upset I was by the display of Roundup and that this chemical is responsible for destroying our food system.
He quickly spoke into his walkie-talkie summoning a manager, who came right away.
Recently, two different friends of mine found themselves devastated to learn the farmer they trusted was not growing the way they were led to believe. Really, seriously devastated. They felt it was a huge betrayal of trust.
And much like a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or partner stepping out on you, the worst part for them was the lies.
So, trust is now gone and the relationships are over.
How can we know any farmer is doing it right, one asked me.
Educate yourself, I replied.
The truth is farmers can get away with lying or growing in a manner you might not like because most people don’t know how to discern what the farmer is doing.
And – much like the person being cheated on – a lot of people might notice something isn’t right but talk themselves out of it.
These days, when I wake in the mornings, before I make my tea with caffeine I drink a nice, tall glass of iced water with lemon. It wakes me up, gives me energy and I feel like I am cleansing my system.
I’ve read it also helps our metabolism kick in.
Water is healthy all year round. But, I think in the mornings in winter when we’ve been sleeping in a room heated by hot air, a radiator or some other artificial method, water does more to wake us than caffeine.
Why? Because heating techniques (like warm air blowing into a room) dry us out, as does the winter climate. And when we are dehydrated we get sleepy, sluggish. And if we have been sleeping in a heated room all night – hopefully several hours – we haven’t been replacing fluids like we might during the daytime.
I’m one of those people who looks for the Non-GMO Project Verified label on food I buy. I’m grateful the Non-GMO Project exists as I want to avoid GMOs. Lately, though, I find myself wondering if there is a false sense of security with the GMO-Free rallying cry put out by advocates.
Let’s face it, GMOs cause concern for those of us who worry about the genetic maneuvering. They also do increase the use of pesticides. But, even if you are buying something that is GMO-free there is no guarantee that it is healthy or without harmful toxic chemicals in the form of synthetic pesticides and herbicides.
It’s in there
In fact, it probably is grown using synthetic chemicals, unless it is also organic.
People might be lulled into thinking, though, that GMO-free is automatically healthy.
Would it better serve the public to include organic in the message? Yes, there is already labeling for certified organic (and you should avoid buying “organic” unless it is certified, which provides oversight) but I’m worried some people might think Non-GMO is the same as organic. The same way there is the perception for some that small family farms only grow healthy, organic food.
One of the highlights of my weekend was a stop at Trader Joe’s. Well, maybe I’m being a little facetious. But, the free samples, the Lamb Vindaloo and my cell phone plan were in cahoots with the universe to give me a bit of an ah-ha moment. And I kinda like when the universe orchestrates these things.
So, right, I typically don’t try what they have at the sample station at Trader Joe’s since it often involves beef or something else I don’t eat. This time though, they had some type of lamb meatball Indian appetizer – and it looked good, interesting. And the ingredients passed muster. It also reminded me of the Lamb Vindaloo they carry, which was on my shopping list.
So, I tried it and thought well of the sample.
As I was leaving, I noticed some kids were getting the beverage sample – four organic juice blend. And I thought, hmm, why not. So I got that, too.
When I was growing up, there was nothing more heinous for a woman than to be even a few pounds overweight. And by that I mean a few pounds over thin. We drank tons of diet soda to help keep our weight at bay. It was considered chic and okay at that time to take speed and smoke cigarettes to keep off the pounds.
And this isn’t even exclusively for ballerinas or models. All women were at risk.
People would skip food at mealtime, opting instead to medicate themselves with said soda, speed and cigarettes. I knew a girl in college – a ridiculously thin girl – who would go a whole weekend at a time without eating to shed a pound or two.
I remember years later hearing someone quantify things this way…. she said, when a girl says “I feel fat” what she is really saying is, “I’m not good enough.”
Valentines flowers sure are pretty, aren’t they? Pretty… uh… pretty toxic perhaps, that is … It’s interesting how easy it can be to overlook the obvious. I think we imagine that something as innocent as flowers bursting with color – which we picture growing free and wild in nature – have to be harmless.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was introduced to the reality that flower growers use pesticides.
Pesticides that end up in our drinking water and food supply – and are left as residue in your home, on your counters and hands.
Think about it for a moment. Are roses growing right now where you are living? If not, they must have been transported from someplace else. And, in order to be kept alive and free of bugs, it only makes sense they were sprayed with something.
It never occurred to me the other day that I would leave the store with freshly grown, LOCAL organic kale. The season is over. Or so I thought. But I did get to bring home some freshly-grown greens. Well, after jumping for joy, that is.
As I walked through the produce department, I was accepting. Resigned that eating the good stuff would have to wait until spring. Still, with disheartened spirits, I had “greens” on my shopping list.
So, I got some packaged spinach from, I don’t know, California probably, and kind of grimaced. It’s not the same, I thought.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it.
No, that can’t be right, I thought. It must be a flashback. (Dang all those hallucinogens I did at Haight-Ashbury in the 60s! No…. wait, that wasn’t me…)
Fruit is supposed to have seeds, yes? Maybe I’m getting old but I don’t think my memory has totally gone yet. Warm summer days when we would eat watermelon and make piles with the seeds – or see how far we could propel them from our mouths.
There was life in them thar fruit. Seeds = life. Apples even sometimes came with worms (also life, also natural). There was that joke – what’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm!
Okay, I guess I am old, you will have to make allowances.
But seriously, have seeds gone the way of Mom and Pop stores and Pan Am Airlines? Relics of a past that will be forgotten in another generation or two?
Unlike shops and airlines, nature created fruit – and the seeds actually have a purpose. Uh….. life.