Why change anything?

That is a great question that demands honest, even if difficult, answers. Why change the way I eat, where I shop and how I cook? Isn't it too hard and overwhelming anyway?
  1. I would say that the number one reason to start looking at how we eat and and what we buy is that every thing that we do, and eat, affects not only ourselves, but our communities, our environment, our planet. There is simply just too much information out there to be able to ignore it. We can shut our eyes and choose to ignore it, but our lives will still impact those of others. And those of others to come. 
  2. Why change? Another reason was a video that I saw, and that will never leave my mind. The day I saw it, I could not sleep. It was a picture of the way pigs live in factory farms, and the way they are slaughtered. It is so horrendous, that I vowed never to eat it again. No matter what belief or religion a person may follow, no animal should live and be treated this way, just so we can have our holiday ham, our thanksgiving turkey, our daily chicken and meat, and milk. The way they keep chickens, calves, cows, pigs, and now fish, in captivity and filth, injecting them with hormones to grow faster, foods that they were never meant to eat (think salmon that now eats corn), and antibiotics to combat all the sickness they endure from living in such hellish conditions, is not only monstrous to animals, it is inhumane to humans that have to work in such places as well. And what about the pollution from all the animal waste of those facilities? Is anybody being held responsible for it? 
  3. Another very simple reason is to look at how food ''gets'' to us these days. Our vegetables, milk, eggs, and even meat, used to be local. Now, you get shrimp and apple juice from China, grapes from Chile, apples from new Zealand, avocados from Mexico, meat from Uruguay... and most vegetables, if organic, from California. This is crazy, totally, absolutely crazy! Right on front of our house, our neighbor has collard greens- so many, that he can't keep up with them himself. Our own garden is giving us more bok choi and lettuce than our family can eat. We are in Florida, where one can grow stuff pretty much any time of the year!!!! We should not have to get collards and strawberries from California!!!! Do you see the waste? The trucks on the highways, transporting all these vegetables and meat that we can get, organic and fresh, right here in Jacksonville??? And what about our own farmers, who are living below the poverty level and are desperate for customers who think that buying from them is just too hard and/or expensive. Last I saw, organic collards went for $5 for a bunch so big I could barely fit in the fridge. Or 3 big beautiful heads of organic lettuce for, again, $5. The choice is obvious, and the impact on other people's lives: priceless.
  4. Another reason is to look at what they put in the food before it gets to us. In the food would be preservatives, additives, coloring, sugar, corn-syrup, vitamins and such. Think about it: if the food is real food, it should not need any of this chemical stuff. Can you imagine a package of black beans ''enriched with vitamins and minerals'' (to make it even better!)? No! Leave my beans alone! I want to eat them the way they were made by nature, or God, or whatever force that created them thousands of years ago. Don't they say not to mess with something that works?
  5. Now look at what they put around the food before it gets to us. Do they really have to wrap every single head of lettuce in plastic??? Or pieces (not even whole, but pieces) of apples in plastic inside of more plastic? Or spinach, carrots, cabbage, oranges, potatoes, onions, cheese, butter, meat, chicken, olives, olive oil, vinegar, milk, yogurt, and even slices of cheese and meat? Again, think about it: how on earth did our great grandparents ever get by without all the plastic??? Where have all of our senses gone? All that soft plastic is not recyclable anywhere. I've only seen one town where they are able to recycle soft plastic, and that town only has a few thousand citizens. So what about the rest of us millions of americans that buy all this stuff daily? What do we do about our growing landfills, and that other, less heard of but still there, gigantic land of plastic in the middle of the Pacific ocean? Who will take responsibility for all off it?
  6. So you see, the answers are hard, but pretty clear and simple. And, best of all, actually do-able these days. The hope that we can actually make a difference for the better with our actions, both for ourselves and for those that come after we are long gone.

No comments: