Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mixed emotions about these poll results.

I find my interests and my actions in disaccord with regards to this post question. I can agree with the majority of poll votes that I take sustainability, local and organic (SLO) interest very seriously on a daily basis, but I do find myself slow at putting things into action. I ask myself, “Is it difficult to implement a serious stance on SLO daily?” and my answer is, “No.” But it sure is a whole lot easier not to! When convenient I will choose the SLO route. By putting myself in good situations a lot of these choices are already made for me. By good situations I mean eating out at indie restaurants over major chains or shopping the farmers market/Natures Bin instead of mass market grocery stores.

SLO is for the masses now. The glory days are over. SLO is a marketing tool and there is nothing we can do about it. The meaning or ‘organic’ has become so far reaching, and it’s meaning has become so muddled that nobody really understands it. But it does make us feel better if that word is on the label.

What is sustainable? We can come up with thousands of examples of what sustainable is… high efficiency this, low emissions that, natural products, ect. But if the guy next to you is soaked in toxic waste, sucking up power and spewing a cloud of death into the air what does our ‘sustainable’ practice do beside make us feel better about ourselves? Surely this does not imply that on an individual basis we should ignore aspects in life where sustainable choices might be made. It does appear the meaning behind making these choices though is often more personal than planetary.

The wholesomeness of what the word ‘local’ means with regard to food has been totally and completely destroyed within the past decade. Kraft wants me to buy ketchup that is labeled as ‘local’ because the tomato farm and the processing plant are in close proximity! Consumers have become obsessed with this idea of local that you can feed them any conjured up idea of what local means. What does this mean for you and I who are very serious about SLO? In my opinion it means there are even fewer trustworthy options in our desire to purchase local food products. Fortunately we are turning the corner on the planting season in the mid-west and it’s almost farmer’s market time, and for these few months out of the year we can fill our baskets with most assured ‘local’ products.