The Organic Jerk

The topic of the Spin Cycle this week is “Things I Hate.”

Oh, give me a minute on this one – the choices, the choices…

Seriously though, there aren’t many things I hate; if the truth be told, I can’t think of a single one.  There are, however, many things I find exceedingly irritating, and this article from Time Magazine’s newsfeed is one of them.

Actually, it’s not even the article itself that irritates me (a lot of people are self-satisfied jerks about a lot of things, and people who have “gone organic” are certainly not exempt) but the comments, mostly from the people who agree with it – although, again, the organic advocates are not exempt.

I mostly take exception to those who label everyone who has chosen to eat real food, whether they are paleo or WAPF advocates or vegan or simply trying to make a positive change for their health, as a snob because it’s too expensive or not available to everyone.  Sorry, but I call bullshit on that one.  I’ve known poor, and I’m not exactly what you’d call rich now, and I can tell you it’s ALL about personal choice.

The article on food deserts in Wikipedia states, “Residents of food desert areas have no alternative but to utilize private cars, travel several miles on foot, or use public transit to gain access to healthful food.”  Been there, and done that.  We had no car until Darling Daughter – my second child – was a freshman in high school, because we couldn’t afford one (as it is, right now we have only one car).  We walked or took public transportation everywhere, and that included the grocery store.  I never once used it as an excuse to feed my kids Cheetos and Pepsi for dinner.  Was it a huge pain in the ass to drag one of those carriers on wheels, loaded with groceries, onto a city bus?  You bet it was, but it’s what I, and many of the other lower income families in our neighborhood, did every week.

As for not being able to afford it, well, I find that one a bit more believable – my kids ate a lot of ramen and generic boxed mac ‘n’ cheese growing up.  But even then, I never bought things like instant potatoes or rice, stuffing mixes or boxed scalloped potatoes because I knew from experience that bags of rice and potatoes, as well as the ingredients for homemade stuffing, were not only cheaper than their boxed counterparts, but made more food.  I’ve also found plenty of people, via the internet, who are raising families on a strapped budget but still manage to locate, purchase and cook grass-fed beef, pastured eggs and sustainably grown produce.  They simply make it a priority, and just because it may not be your priority doesn’t automatically make them an unbearable snob.

I think when anyone discovers something that they become passionate about, they want to talk about it – share it – with those around them, often to the point of being tiresome.  I absolutely do not exclude myself from that – if you go back into my archives about 2 years you’ll find weekly, if not daily, posts proselytizing about our new-found way of eating, and I know for a fact that some readers found it wearying, even if they didn’t decide I was an out-and-out jerk.  (For those who did, that’s all right – there are members of my own family who can’t stand me and it has nothing to do with my stance on food or dietary choices.)  These days, not so much; I only occasionally drag out the soapbox – which, to be honest, is something of a relief for me, too.

Because if I’m going to be a jerk, I should at least have a really good reason for it.

12 thoughts on “The Organic Jerk”

  1. Oooo, I LOVE it when you get all riled up. And you’re right of course. I mean, you don’t have to go all paleo or vegan or something to eat fresh, unprocessed foods. Not that I always do that, but at least I’m willing to admit it’s simply because I’m lazy. I think it’s an education thing. People just don’t know how to eat. And you’re doing a great job teaching. My mama would have sooner died than make potatoes out of a box, or a cake from a mix. And she taught me that. Every time I make a cake for Jimmy’s family they’re all abuzz telling people “it’s from scratch!!”. It just floors me.

    Okay, I seem to have just started ranting too. Sorry. You are linked!!

  2. Preach it, woman!
    Even on a tight budget, poor John is growing weary of listening to me talk about it, we still stick to the mostly organic way. My only concession as of late has been milk and eggs which we had to switch to Costco brand, however I did confirm no hormones or RBST, processing, added to either source. When I’m able to squeeze out an extra 20 or so a week, that will be the first thing to change back.
    Meat is still organic, although I am paying more since I’m going through a middle man (Costco) instead of a local source. (Trying to find someone to go in on a cow is hard in this area and I don’t have a freezer to store it in, so until I can put aside some money to get a freezer, I pay the premium.) Our veggies are still organic, and we have been keeping tabs on our tomato plant to see how that does. If it does well. we’ll do some potted vegetables for the remainder of this year and then next Spring, start a 4 x 4 in our backyard and start some bigger varieties.
    I do find I get a bit preachy at times, and need to shut myself up, but when I see someone paying out the nose for a value meal at McDonalds for 1 person, when for 4 dollars more, they could easily have fed their entire family of four the exact same meal, only without the crap, I do become an organic jerk and wonder aloud why they consider paying 28 dollars for those value meals cheaper than 12 bucks for a pound of grass fed beef, a tomato, head of lettuce, 3 potatoes, and if you want the bread, go for it. Want it with cheese? Okay, that will be 15.00, 18 if you want to go raw or grass fed. And still 10 bucks left over.

    Yes, it seems I do need to shut myself up…

  3. Consider the source. Time is not exactly an objective science based periodical.

    Dang, that makes me a JERK because I recognize a sleazy rag when I see it, but let’s not forget their contribution to the “Cholesterol Myth”. Jerks!

  4. To suggest that people who eat well are less charitable is pretty silly. Then again, maybe it’s because people eating processed crap can’t keep mental focus long enough to accomplish as much as quickly as we can.

    What an arrogant jerk I must be!

  5. Oh, I can tell you about Jerks. I get them all the time.

    For instance, I dealt with a guest last week that wanted to know whether our “veggie burger” was cooked on the same grill as the meat. (It is.) They demanded it be cooked on a different grill. (No can do bucko!)

    Then it was the fries. Are they fried in the same oil as meat or fish items? (They are not, thank the light…)

    Can you tell us if your tomatoes are organic? How about the lettuce? Is it local?

    Sheesh… I work at a corporation. Really people?

    I don’t mind accomodating people, but let me tell you – when someone gets obnoxious like that – I just want to throttle them.

    If it’s a case of an allergy, then I am game. If it’s a lifestyle choice, (like Veganism) then I call asshole and try to accomodate as much as I can, but there is a limit. Do I give a flying fiddler’s f@ck if the grill was used to cook meat for the vegan “burger?” Hell no. I will scrape the meat off and cook their chemical… err… soy burger and call it a day. LOL


    1. i don’t understand people who go to places like TGIFridays (i.e. corporate chain restaurants) and expect to be pandered to – which is why I don’t eat at them. I don’t even expect a place like Michael Symon’s Lola restaurant to serve nothing but local and organic (although I DO expect not to be served dishes containing gluten from their gluten-free menu). If I demanded that a restaurant never cook with industrial seed oils like canola, I’d never be able to eat out again – it just ain’t gonna happen. I ask for gluten free and no MSG and that’s it – if I can get dairy free, I count myself lucky.

      1. Barring junk food chain restaurants, and politely requested, I expect a restaurant to be able to HONESTLY answer questions about ingredients. I also expect that they shouldn’t be insulted if I walked out without ordering. Sorry – it’s called free enterprise. Let’s not even talk about insensitive kitchen crews that are offended by a request about sources and quality of food.

    2. Since, I become physically ill when I eat any meat I always ask if the veggie burger is cooked on the same grill. If it is I don’t order it. That doesn’t make me a jerk. It makes me a person that doesn’t want to end up in the emergency room later.

  6. I like your rants too. In part it’s because I’m so glad that someone has passion about something. I tend to the inordinately rational, and were the world like me it’d miss something crucial. Never back down.

  7. I would like to know if people who “can’t afford” fresh produce (even non-organic , not local) are able to afford a six pack of beer or some whiskey. I agree that it all comes down to priorities.

  8. It’s not the people who change their lifestyle to make themselves better that annoy me. It’s the ones who lord it over everyone else and look down on me for my choices that are different than theirs that bother me.
    Live and let live and don’t whine about it. Whining gets on everyone’s nerves.

Comments are closed.