Live Real. Eat Real.

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.





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