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Food Elitist? - Page 3

post #41 of 171
The closest Whole Foods to me is 125 miles away, and the closest Trader Joes is about 250 miles. So no, i CAN'T shop there to save money. Not I don't want to, but I can't afford the gas and an entire day on grocery shopping.
post #42 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikel1979 View Post
The closest Whole Foods to me is 125 miles away, and the closest Trader Joes is about 250 miles. So no, i CAN'T shop there to save money. Not I don't want to, but I can't afford the gas and an entire day on grocery shopping.
I used to live far from those places too. I did have a small hfs though and they had great sales. The regular stores in this area all have health food sections but their prices are way higher than the same foods at the hfs.

Of course many people are limited by what is in their area. I too would not be able to drive a distance with my car hating toddler. We do what we can
post #43 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
I see your point, but it also sort of sounds like you're saying that those who can't afford organic food are in that situation because of poor (to you) choices. That's not fair.
No, that isn't what I am saying. I am just saying that for me personally, I am willing to do without non-essentials in order to afford organic foods. I wouldn't judge someone based on what I see in their cart; I would just assume they are doing the best they can with the resources they have. However I do think too many people have the assumtion that it is too expensive to eat organic on a budget or that it is impossible to eat sustainably without your nearest Whole Foods, and I think much of the time there are more options available if you are willing to put in the effort.
post #44 of 171
a lot of my family and friends think that my husband and i are food elitists. we have been eating organic, avoiding tras fats and corn syrup for a little over a decade and it is cheaper for us to buy the things we want now than it was when we started. whole foods has saved(!) us money after years of buying all of our groceries in little health food stores. i don't tsk tsk and lecture the people i know and do not judge strangers. i eat the way i want to and that is a blessing,i don't think i'm an elitist but food is important to me and i take it seriously.i don't like the holier than thou attitudes i see sometimes, but i could be seen as holier than when i say " we don't eat cheerios" i don't go into the amounts of pesticide residue in conventional cereal for fear of coming off judgemental toward the person,but just that sentance "we don't eat..." can be seen as a slam by someone else.
post #45 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmer mama View Post
However I do think too many people have the assumption that it is too expensive to eat organic on a budget or that it is impossible to eat sustainably without your nearest Whole Foods, and I think much of the time there are more options available if you are willing to put in the effort.
As demonstrated by previous posters in this thread, sometimes the only extra effort they could make is to drive 250 miles to a HFS, which is totally unrealistic. Not every community, town, city, state, and country will have the same variables.

I just think we need to be careful by making such broad speculations about what other people could do shop totally organic.

I have a little HFS right around the corner that I like to support because they were here long before Whole Foods, but they are a lot more expensive. So then I have to get the more pricer items and Whole Foods, but even that is expensive. So then I try to hit the green markets and farmers markets to get the good deals, by the time all is said and done I have spent half the week "putting in the effort" to getting my organic food, that I've wasted gas, made my kid throw a fit in the evil car seat, and polluted the environment with the extra gas it took to go to three extra stores when I could have gone to one. Walking and public transit is out of the question due to health reasons 90% of the time, which leaves me dependent on my car. Sometimes it's just unrealistic at best, and totally impossible at worst.
post #46 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
As demonstrated by previous posters in this thread, sometimes the only extra effort they could make is to drive 250 miles to a HFS, which is totally unrealistic. Not every community, town, city, state, and country will have the same variables.

I just think we need to be careful by making such broad speculations about what other people could do shop totally organic.
I am certainly not suggesting people spend more time in the car. But I do think it would help if people were more aware of options like CSAs, bulk order companies, community gardens, "share" programs, growing your own, small farms that grow sustainably without organic certification, etc. Obviously there are people who really don't have options, but I would hope the word would get out about some lesser known ways to support sustainable agriculture on a budget.
post #47 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmer mama View Post
I am certainly not suggesting people spend more time in the car. But I do think it would help if people were more aware of options like CSAs, bulk order companies, community gardens, "share" programs, growing your own, small farms that grow sustainably without organic certification, etc. Obviously there are people who really don't have options, but I would hope the word would get out about some lesser known ways to support sustainable agriculture on a budget.
I agree. I also think we should share these resources instead of just telling people to make an effort (which isn't very helpful in the long run).

Perhaps we should all start organic shopping tribes in our respectable locations to get the ball rolling? If we all did this, I bet there would be a lot of good resources for all MDC mamas to share in their local areas.
post #48 of 171
It has become very clear to me that organic and natural foods are the newest marking trend or fad. Eating organics and natural food products that are packaged in appealingly natural-looking bags (like you would find at Trader Joes or Whole Foods) are all part of a "fashion/lifesyle fad". You will find moms in yoga pants wandering the asiles of Trader Joes with a curly haired child in the cart who is sucking on a rice cake---she is there to buy her organic soy milk and Pirate booty and frozen Nancy's quiche. On the way home she stops at Starbucks to get her low fat vanilla soy latte double whip. She feels infinately more stylish than the minivan driving mom who shops at the regular grocery store with all of the colorful mass marketed packaging. Even if the first mom is only buying chips and sodas at the Trader Joes, and the other mom is buying veggies (organic or not) and brown rice, the first mom just feels better about her choices and wears them proudly like a new handbag. It is a packaging and style issue--she is riding the cultural trend that is afoot right now, the natural food-style fad.

This observation comes from a person (me!) who lived in San Francisco for 15 years, across the street from one of the first "natural grocery" stores (Real Foods). I ate there and shopped there everyday, and saw the movement growing, and appreciated what they had to offer--but also knew enough to look beneath the bricks and mortar and see the smart marketing that went along with the cloth grocery bags. They were selling not just food, but a carefully crafted "look" that consumers wanted to be a part of. That look has now finally gone mainstream, and it is being packaged and marketed for mass consumption.
post #49 of 171
DH here...

Here's an interesting article...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13737389/

Also, we use an organic wash to try to get rid of any pesticide residue. DW has washed veggies in a clear bowl and can see the dirt and other stuff floating after washing.
post #50 of 171
LisainCalifornia, you are so right.

I think some people are missing the point that some of us aren't spending money on non -essentials so that then we can't afford all organic. We can't afford to buy all organic because we literally don't have the money to. We do have a Whole Foods in my city now but it's all the way across town from us as is the other chain hfs (it used to be right up the street from us, we could walk there). I would exclusively shop at Whole Foods (or other HFS) if I could afford to, I would love to buy all organics (we do what we can). It's just not my reality.
post #51 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisainCalifornia View Post
It has become very clear to me that organic and natural foods are the newest marking trend or fad.
I totally know what you're talking about. I see it at Whole Foods, too. Women picking through the organic peaches with their acrylic-nailed fingers, and driving away in a Lexus gas-hog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
I think some people are missing the point that some of us aren't spending money on non-essentials so that then we can't afford all organic.
And some of us are.

I'll be the first to admit that I could buy way more organic food if we stopped spending so much on outings and the gas/fare it takes to get there. If we never went to the movies, or the arcade, or bowling. If I had my cell-phone turned off (no, not a necessity, but since I WOTH and my kids are home alone often, I like to have it). If I didn't have pets to feed. If we shopped exclusively at thrift shops and never bought new anything.

We don't want to do that. A little twist on the old phrase "man does not live by bread alone." Eat right, exercise, die anyway.
post #52 of 171
I don't agree that the trend to organic is just trendy but if eliminating pesticides, GMO's, hormones and antibiotics from the food chain is a fad, it's a good one and I hope it will catch on. The more people asking for organic foods, the cheaper and easier they will be to get.
To me, fads foods are foods like Olestra, "Lite" foods, margarine and other trans fats. These man-made foods are the ones that go in and out of style. Organic and slow food enthusiasts have been around for at least the 30 years that I have been preparing food for my family and most would consider it a movement, not a fad.
post #53 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisainCalifornia View Post
It has become very clear to me that organic and natural foods are the newest marking trend or fad. Eating organics and natural food products that are packaged in appealingly natural-looking bags (like you would find at Trader Joes or Whole Foods) are all part of a "fashion/lifesyle fad". You will find moms in yoga pants wandering the asiles of Trader Joes with a curly haired child in the cart who is sucking on a rice cake---she is there to buy her organic soy milk and Pirate booty and frozen Nancy's quiche. On the way home she stops at Starbucks to get her low fat vanilla soy latte double whip. She feels infinately more stylish than the minivan driving mom who shops at the regular grocery store with all of the colorful mass marketed packaging. Even if the first mom is only buying chips and sodas at the Trader Joes, and the other mom is buying veggies (organic or not) and brown rice, the first mom just feels better about her choices and wears them proudly like a new handbag. It is a packaging and style issue--she is riding the cultural trend that is afoot right now, the natural food-style fad.

This observation comes from a person (me!) who lived in San Francisco for 15 years, across the street from one of the first "natural grocery" stores (Real Foods). I ate there and shopped there everyday, and saw the movement growing, and appreciated what they had to offer--but also knew enough to look beneath the bricks and mortar and see the smart marketing that went along with the cloth grocery bags. They were selling not just food, but a carefully crafted "look" that consumers wanted to be a part of. That look has now finally gone mainstream, and it is being packaged and marketed for mass consumption.
Hmm, that was a pretty biased view of the type of people who shop at those stores. Not at all what I look like when I show up at whole foods or trader joe's. I'm usually in stained jeans and an old sweatshirt, looking frazzeled from coming from the other grocery stores in town, with three children hanging off me, looking intently at each and everything I put in my cart to make sure it is actually something that my kids can have, becasue I can only find so much for them at other stores. But you're right, my kids might be sucking on a rice cake, probably an organic one too, but I can't afford to stop for coffee on my way home. And my minivan's drivers side window won't open and the heat will only come on full blast or not at all, but obviously I must be one of the beautiful people that you're talking about!
post #54 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisainCalifornia View Post
It has become very clear to me that organic and natural foods are the newest marking trend or fad. Eating organics and natural food products that are packaged in appealingly natural-looking bags (like you would find at Trader Joes or Whole Foods) are all part of a "fashion/lifesyle fad". You will find moms in yoga pants wandering the asiles of Trader Joes with a curly haired child in the cart who is sucking on a rice cake---she is there to buy her organic soy milk and Pirate booty and frozen Nancy's quiche. On the way home she stops at Starbucks to get her low fat vanilla soy latte double whip. She feels infinately more stylish than the minivan driving mom who shops at the regular grocery store with all of the colorful mass marketed packaging. Even if the first mom is only buying chips and sodas at the Trader Joes, and the other mom is buying veggies (organic or not) and brown rice, the first mom just feels better about her choices and wears them proudly like a new handbag. It is a packaging and style issue--she is riding the cultural trend that is afoot right now, the natural food-style fad.

This observation comes from a person (me!) who lived in San Francisco for 15 years, across the street from one of the first "natural grocery" stores (Real Foods). I ate there and shopped there everyday, and saw the movement growing, and appreciated what they had to offer--but also knew enough to look beneath the bricks and mortar and see the smart marketing that went along with the cloth grocery bags. They were selling not just food, but a carefully crafted "look" that consumers wanted to be a part of. That look has now finally gone mainstream, and it is being packaged and marketed for mass consumption.
:

Well put!
I see a lot of it as a consequence of the "worried well" and the extreme anxiety Americans often feel largely as a consequence to individualism and mass marketing.

It drives me crazy when people get all high and mighty about eating all organics. If you can, good for you, but you're not necessarily making better choices. A lot of the organics that you get at a place like Whole Foods and Trader Joes comes from very, very far away and relies on exploitative labor. Also, processed is processed- packaged is packaged. We go to Trader Joes for junk food. I'm not kidding myself that just because it's organic or natural that it's healthy.

Also, a lot of the "major" brands of organics support the same evil companies that push GMOs and market HFCS and trans fats in their other products.

We try to buy local first (to cut down on fossil fuels and to support our economy) and then organic if we can. We can afford to do this. I would never, ever judge someone who is struggling to feed their families about not eating organics. It is a privilege (it shouldn't be, but it is) and I feel very privileged to be able to choose where my food comes from and what I am going to eat.

I really feel for the mamas here who have to deal with the moral superiority of elitist people who don't recognize their privilege.
post #55 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
And some of us are.

I'll be the first to admit that I could buy way more organic food if we stopped spending so much on outings and the gas/fare it takes to get there. If we never went to the movies, or the arcade, or bowling. If I had my cell-phone turned off (no, not a necessity, but since I WOTH and my kids are home alone often, I like to have it). If I didn't have pets to feed. If we shopped exclusively at thrift shops and never bought new anything.

We don't want to do that. A little twist on the old phrase "man does not live by bread alone." Eat right, exercise, die anyway.

I know, I just think that it is assumed that eveyone could afford all organic if they'd just budget their money better. we could forgo internet service though and afford to buy a couple more items that are organic a week but obviously my family would rather have the internet, our one major non-essential thing. But we still couldn't afford ALL organic.
post #56 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by swimswamswum View Post
I would never, ever judge someone who is struggling to feed their families about not eating organics. It is a privilege (it shouldn't be, but it is) and I feel very privileged to be able to choose where my food comes from and what I am going to eat.

I really feel for the mamas here who have to deal with the moral superiority of elitist people who don't recognize their privilege.
Thank you!!!!
post #57 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by race_kelly View Post
Hmm, that was a pretty biased view of the type of people who shop at those stores. Not at all what I look like when I show up at whole foods or trader joe's. I'm usually in stained jeans and an old sweatshirt, looking frazzeled from coming from the other grocery stores in town, with three children hanging off me, looking intently at each and everything I put in my cart to make sure it is actually something that my kids can have, becasue I can only find so much for them at other stores. But you're right, my kids might be sucking on a rice cake, probably an organic one too, but I can't afford to stop for coffee on my way home. And my minivan's drivers side window won't open and the heat will only come on full blast or not at all, but obviously I must be one of the beautiful people that you're talking about!
I was just making more of a cultural observation--I occasionally shop at TJ's as well--I live in the Bay Area and it is convenient to get to one when I need something from there. I realize that not all people that shop there look like the example I gave--I don't look like that! But what I am saying is that this is a "trend" like any other, and there are good and bad aspects to that trend, and eventually it will probably die out and a new food/lifestyle trend will begin. I realize I am getting a little too Faith Popcorn here, so I will stop now
post #58 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisainCalifornia View Post
It has become very clear to me that organic and natural foods are the newest marking trend or fad. Eating organics and natural food products that are packaged in appealingly natural-looking bags (like you would find at Trader Joes or Whole Foods) are all part of a "fashion/lifesyle fad".
and this is a bad thing because....? i'd rather see health as a fad then something like those Bratz dolls. i do see where you are coming from, having just been to Henry's where the majority were talking on their pink razors and sipping their Starbucks, but to say the natural/health food movment is a fad is downplaying the importance of being mindful about what is going into our bodies. not only that but why are we so down on these 'in' mommas and dads for doing what is better? because they can afford to buy all organic and drive a BMW they're suddenly not intitled to make health based decsions? so what if mom just came back from botox to pick up some organic free range eggs? every little bit counts.

that being said, we buy some organic but more than likely about 15%. mainly we stick with local not only for the enviornment and because we simply can't afford organic (heck! we can hardly afford groceries, period!) but also because our area is full of agriculture being provided by the poor and imigrants. we were raised here and grew up seeing the fields and all that. we'd much rather go to the road side stand set up by a feild worker then to the Ralph's down the street. i won't deny that organic is best but eating organic doesn't make one a better person/mother/father/wife/husband/card player/etc. on the flip side neither does walking into a healthfood store wearing birks with your cloth grocerie bags and dreadlocs.
post #59 of 171
Quote:
try to buy from farmers markets and I'd love to find a proper butcher. Buying locally is actually more important to me that buying organic, since frankly, buying non-organic locally is often better for the environment (and is often fresher) than buying organic that was airfreighted or shipped in.
I wholeheartedly agree with this. Yes organic is important but as organic becomes more regulated it is difficult for many small local farms to be certified. I would take an apple from a local non-certified organic farm any day over a certified organic one shipped from out of state or even IN state. To me local will always be more important than mass-market organic. If I can get local and organic well then I look at that as plus.

All people can benefit from a varied diet high in whole grains, lean proteins fruits and veggies. I personally I think that is the first priority. If as a parent you are doing your best to feed family a balanced diet w/ the resources you have not eating organic is not going to kill you. If you can then add local and/or organic produce to your diet all the better.

Seriously the argument I see about "priorities" and not spending my money on "extra's" like cell phones, etc just cracks me up. You see the same in the mommy wars. If she just gave up her car, sold her house, stopped shopping at expensive stores, stopped doing XYZ she could stay home. So a person goes and does that and is now beat up because they can't buy organic. I guess that mom should just go back to work, huh?
post #60 of 171
Sorry I took that personally! I often get the comments on the opposite side of the spectrum that I'm wasting my money by shopping at those places and maybe we'd have a better car if I didn't spend my money on food! See, you just can't win no matter where you fall.
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