Originally Posted by Sheacoby
I know, I just think that it is assumed that eveyone could afford all organic if they'd just budget their money better.
Hmmm, partly true. I think more people could afford more organic if they budgeted differently. While I don't judge individuals, I'm happy to judge America as a whole. When I think about how much money gets spent at Starbucks every day, or about how much money gets spent on Coca-cola, for example, it drives me nuts. I see many people at the grocery store with carts full of premium crap: Coke, Cottonelle, Lucky Charms, Huggies, Hamburger Helper... are these the people who "can't" afford organics? (I use quotes because I absolutely recognize that there are people who cannot afford organic - but these are not the people I'm talking about now.) Or is "I can't afford it" just a common excuse for these people? My SIL who's DH earns well into six figures "can't" afford organic. But they go to restaurants all the time, have an generous-sized house, buy premium wines, you get my point.
I agree that a lot of this is about education. Many people don't know how dire the situation is.
But sometimes its about selfishness. While I believe that most people are basically good, I know that we all are fighting our own spiritual battles. Selfishness is a huge spiritual battle for many people, and it's always sad to see someone losing. Some people choose fancy clothes, etc., over organics, because they WANT fancy clothes, and that's all there is to it for them.
It's downright frustrating and saddening to see the future of our world in so much trouble because people are so overwhelmed by the onslaught of materialism and commercialism that they can't even see that there is a spiritual battle going on, and that they're losing.
I'll admit, right here, that my spiritual battle is lack of humility.
I'm working on it, but obviously I haven't gotten that far!
Originally Posted by lisalou
I think the term organic has gotten diluted every since it became an FDA certification process. Any processed food labeled organic is a waste of money. To me that's the biggest gimmick of marketing. Not that you shouldn't ever, ever eat processed food but there are so many loopholes when it comes to processed food that the term organic doesn't usually mean all that much. ... I think someone early in thread hit it on the nail when they said you really have to change your whole way of thinking about food to make the commitment to local and/or organic. Organic produce flown into Vermont in the middle of January or July for that matter from South America to me defeats the whole purpose of going organic. How can it be sustainable practices to be wasting all that jet fuel? I try to plan meals seasonally and think of cooking more than one meal at a time.
Also, Americans spend less on food in relation to income than any other Western country. I value good food it's worth it to me to make room in my budget and sacrifice other things to make sure my family is eating right. I know not everyone can do that. All I ask is that everyone try to feed their families the best they can and be mindful of what you're eating.
There is food elitism but that goes into Organic being a sexy marketing term and restaurants that are places to see and be seen rather than actually eating. I never really associate that with MDC to be honest.
Many good points made. However, I would say that many organic non-local options aren't shipped from farther than non-organics. Organic bananas vs. conventional bananas, organic avos vs. conventional avos... all would have to be pretty far from me! I unfortunately buy a lot of food that is not local, especially in winter, because I like providing my family with variety.
Omnivore's Dilemma goes into a great conversation about the mainstreaming of organics, the dilution of the definition of organic, the industrialization of organic, etc. I can't reiterate everything Michael Pollan says, so I'll just say read it for yourself!
Originally Posted by AmyB
Exactly. So you see how elitist it is for American consumers to demand a variety of cheaply priced, out-of-season oil-dependent foods year round. ... When you buy a thing like food you are never just buying the THING. You are also buying the environmental, social and personal side effects. In the case of the cheap industrial food that makes up the typical American diet people are specifically buying environmental degradation, foreign oil dependence and associated wars, and diabetes.
I don't think it's elitist to wish everyone had a clean environment, peace, and good health. I understand that if people are starving they will eat anything, but as a society Americans are generally rich. We don't have to eat so destructively. We seem to do it mainly because circumstances have made the most destructive calories the cheapest to buy. ... So perhaps it is elitist to insist on an organic label on all foods, but in general social justice calls for far, far greater awareness of what we are eating and how it got on our tables.
I think it's very possible to be an advocate, without being elitist or judgmental. It's about spreading education, and inspiring people to protect our earth and our health.
Originally Posted by beka1977
I am always shocked by the prices at Whole Foods. ... That said, sometimes we go to Whole Foods just for an adventure, and the prices are WAY higher than the same product at the grocery store. Sometimes I feel like it is similar to shopping at Tiffany's - you are paying a premium for the label of WF. Around here we lovingly call it "Whole Paycheck."
I think everyone here on MDC buys as much organic as they can afford, or chooses to not buy organic for conscientious reasons (like choosing local over organic). What saddens me is that there are so many people who spend so much on crap, who just don't know the health effects of their food choices.
Sorry for the novel.