I’m afraid I am slowly becoming a crazy food person. The more I know, the more I don’t want to know. Ignorance is bliss when it comes to what we eat. For example, I’m probably going to hit up a local burrito place for lunch, I don’t really have any idea where their sources are from, they probably aren’t ethical, but I’m still going to eat there because I’m hungry, I don’t REALLY know, and they’re a local(ish) business. Rationalization: Complete.
There is so little we can eat ethically. As far as I can tell, the most ethical eating is ALL local (or at least US raised). Period. As soon as it’s from far way or packaged, there is no way to know what it took for you to get it. (Then I have to wonder about seeds… Ay caramba. Our food sucks!) Another rationalization for having the crappy/far away/stealing other countries’ food is that it stimulates the economy/provides jobs. Ummm… yeah I guess. But as long as people need food, that will be the case… And since we ALWAYS need food, the food industry will never die. Soooo, why can’t we eat ethically? Everyone everywhere needs food everyday. SHIPPING! Ah, there’s part of an industry that might go down in smoke if we all ate local. One goes down, another comes up, right? I. Don’t. Get. It. All this is coming from recently watching the documentary Farmageddon and a recent fb post on where quinoa comes from…
Farmageddon was really fascinating to me, and boosted my libertarian sentiments. In my mind I thought that the government should be working on making healthy food more affordable and nixing unhealthy foods (that is, the government controlling what we eat, but in a good way). Unfortunately, the government does control what we eat, but it’s in a bad way, and this has led to the sad demise of some local and family farms. I realized the ridiculousness of the situation when a woman who can’t get raw milk in her state said, “I can smoke and drink all I want while I’m pregnant, but I can’t have raw milk?!?” Our priorities are definitely mixed up. I also had no idea how difficult it can be to have a farm. It seems very wrong. It almost seems like if the FDA and/or USDA could they would prevent people from eating anything directly from the ground or from the animal. Ummm… What? The film may be a little biased, but even so, it is sad. People ought to have the freedom to have farms, raise food and animals, sell said products, and people should have the freedom to buy and consume said products. But, we don’t.
Affordability. Another excuse/rationale. Yes, it’s expensive, but so are your eating out and drinking habits. I am reasonably sure the majority of my peers: grad students and young-ish professionals-ish (i.e. employed) can afford to eat local/healthy/ethically. Again, we trade one portion of our spending for another. I’m not ADDING ethical food to my diet. I’m replacing all my unethical food for ethical food.
What is ethical? It’s a bit late in the post, but, I don’t know. I never took a class. But it should at least be not impinging on another places food sources to the point of starvation, price hikes, decreased nutrition, etc etc. As far as meat production goes, it probably shouldn’t be super unnatural and gross (I really don’t wanna know). And you should probably give money/food to the hungry.
Guilt trip over. What’s a girl to do?