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Monday, December 19, 2011

Greener Than Thou?

A facebook friend of mine mentioned today that she buys almost everything at Wally World.  "Really?" I asked, feeling that instantaneous queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I so much as hear the name of that over-rated box store.  Not that I blame my friend.  They have the corner on everything that anyone could want, and for cheaper.  I cannot deny that you save money there.  Well, usually.

I have noticed that they have organic items there.  That pleases me.  If I am in a pinch, I can pick up something there if need be.  Gone are the days, (almost) of mom & pop stores.  So I do shop at the ones that I know of... I'd rather give my money to the little guy than the controlling giant.

I took stock of what I buy, and where.  I am the first to admit I cannot afford grass fed beef, so I have to suck it up and go where I get the best bang for my buck and that, my dears, is Sams... Walmart's Daddy.  Or... something.  Trust me, it gives me no pleasure to admit that.  But lets face facts.  When you are a one-income family raising kids, you have to do what you can and where to stretch your dollars.

Since I am a thrifty mom, and I do save on our meat, I don't mind one iota buying our Organic Valley milk from the Native Sun, as well as any other organic produce not provided to us by the weekly organic co-op that I have the pleasure of helping with.  But... I have a vice.  And it's name is Publix. "Where Shopping Is Always A Pleasure."  And indeed it is.

Publix is clean.  I mean, CLEAN.  The employees are so polite and helpful.  No long lines.  Lots of organics to choose from... but who am I kidding?  The pull from that store lies in their exceeding cleanliness, politeness, and their amazing Buy One Get One Free sales.  Something inside of me forgets that we eat (mostly) organic, and I find myself buying the grease-laden, genetically modified poison (that tastes oh-so good!) labeled, (innocently enough), "microwave popcorn".  Gah!!  It jumps into my buggy and next thing I know I am the (not so) proud owner of four boxes of that garbage. I got such a great deal for a product I am too grossed out to eat.  I 'used' to love the stuff... then when I found out... well... old habits die hard. Publix sales is my 'crack'.  I admit it.

I have friends who think I am really "out there" with the organic stuff and the "hippie" mentality (yet still conservative)... but no... trust me.  I have other friends who have fully 'absorbed' (not sure if that's the way to put it, but that's all I can think of at the moment)..  they are THIN and HEALTHY and eat ONLY organic and some even vegan.  Or at least vegetarian.  I admire them. I do.  I don't want to be 'all the way' vegetarian... but I would like to be to the point that I say that I am having grass-fed beef "with" dinner and not "for" dinner.  I want to be one of the skinny, healthy glowing friends who know exactly what they are putting into their mouths and don't regret a bite or wonder what the heck they just ate.  

No, I am not wearing the organic cotton.  I'm eating from a pound of beef that came from 60 different cows. Eating chocolate and tea that is not organic and not fair trade.  (I sometimes do though, if that counts).  I drink my weight in sugary drinks, and white, processed flour.  :(  No... I am not proud.

When I first started my organic journey, a wise forum-friend told me that "even one small change" makes a difference.  I tell others that.  It's true, and I believe it.  But for some reason I do not apply it to myself.  I buy the "hippie" milk, I get the organic co-op produce, the farm eggs from a farmer.. heck I even buy organic dog food... but still buying "conventional" cheese, meat, etc. Rome wasn't built in a day I guess.  

Being organic is like going on a diet.  You cheat.  You have good days and bad days.  You have days that make other people go, "WOW", and other days when you look like the biggest failure ever.  At least that's how I sometimes feel when I am eating Oreos with my hippie milk.  

Every day is another day in our own journey.  Life, Faith, and our striving to do the best we can with what God has blessed us with... being good stewards of His bounty.. His gifts to us all.. our own bodies, the earth... natural resources.  If you can do one small thing each day to make things better for yourself, for our world, for mankind...   what can it be?  Recycle your newspaper?  Love your neighbor?  Buy from a mom & pop store instead of a "box store"?

We all have choices to make... even the 'easiest' ones sometimes make you think. 


  1. Susan,

    I have been pondering food choices as well. Here are a few vague thoughts: We feed our children the best we can which might not be organic if the budget doesn't run to it. There isn't necessarily any virtue in being thin. We could actually be tempted to be proud of our self-control, our determination to stick to our diet at all costs...proud of our good looks. We do our best to eat healthily but the result is in God's hands. We can't always avoid health issues. But we can trust God to look after us whatever happens. And ultimately what goes into our souls and our children's souls is far more important than what goes into their bodies.

    "striving to do the best we can with what God has blessed us with... being good stewards of His bounty.. His gifts to us all.. our own bodies, the earth... natural resources." I like that!

    I realise my thoughts are just rambles but that's OK. We are friends!

  2. 99% of my blog is JUST ramblings and musings. :) Its all good. ;)

  3. I used to do a lot more of that! My children have bad memories of soy milk! I think a balanced life is the best. It is not that cookies are bad, it is just that home made cookies are better and that cookies are meant to be a treat not the main course three times a day. We have our own garden, so I guess you could say we go organic. But I also know that sometimes a little chemical bug or mold killer is necessary if we wish to have any food at all. My husband (the chemist) says most of this stuff is not really in the food????!!!! Just keep on keep. The killer is comparing yourself to anyone else....whether you do it over organic eating, spirituality, things, ability.....just don't do it!! We either end up with false superiority or false inadequacy (that does not look like it is spelled right). You are a great gal, trying to be a good mom and are doing good!!!!!! Blessings!