I just spent $300 on groceries! And I didn’t come home with very much. I’m shocked at how expensive it is to buy food these days. It wasn’t long ago that when I spent that much money on groceries I would have the freezer fully stocked with all kinds of meat, the laundry soap and toiletries would be restocked and there would be enough in the cupboards to last a couple of weeks – easy. This time my re-usable shopping bags brought home one small steak, a package of chicken breasts and a small package of boneless chicken thighs…and no laundry detergent or shampoo. Ok, yes, I did have to buy razor blades and that alone came to $20 for a pack of 4. I am NOT above using coupons either.
The part that really disturbs me is that I even chose, against my better judgment, the non-organic stuff (gasp!) to save some money. I know I may pay for that choice in medical bills one day but sometimes it’s really hard to make the right choice when the price is FIVE times higher than that of the non-organic. I’m not kidding. I needed a can of crushed pineapple. Side by side was the regular non-organic Dole brand for $1.69 and then the same sized can of organic pineapple for a whopping $5.49! And I’m thinkin, could all of those chemical pesticides have really penetrated the hard pineapple skin? Nah! So ya, I bought the $1.69 can. Can you blame me? Milk, which I don’t even drink but needed for a recipe was the same story. Now that is something that is probably worth buying the organic version of, but seriously what is with the price difference here. And the organic certify police better be truly on top of who gets to boast that label because I will be REALLY pissed if I find out it’s all the same stuff.
The documentary below is one that I’d love to see all of if I can ever get my hands on it. Food, Inc. exposes America’s industrialized food system and its effect on the US environment, health, economy and workers’ rights. I’m sure most of it is applicable to Canada also and besides much of our food comes from south of the border. Luckily there is a companion book that I plan on getting. (Chapters or Amazon gift certificates are my favourite Christmas gifts to receive in case anyone was wondering) I will do my best to choose organic whenever I can but damn I hope those prices come down to earth soon.
Here are 10 simple things you can do to change our food system:
Learn more about these issues and how you can take action on Takepart.com
1. Stop drinking sodas and other sweetened beverages. You can lose 25 lbs in a year by replacing one 20 oz soda a day with a no calorie beverage (preferably water).
2. Eat at home instead of eating out. Children consume almost twice (1.8 times) as many calories when eating food prepared outside the home.
3. Support the passage of laws requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards. Half of the leading chain restaurants provide no nutritional information to their customers.
4. Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks. Over the last two decades, rates of obesity have tripled in children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years.
5. Meatless Mondays—Go without meat one day a week. An estimated 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to farm animals.
6. Buy organic or sustainable food with little or no pesticides. According to the EPA, over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the U.S.
7. Protect family farms; visit your local farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets allow farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.
8. Make a point to know where your food comes from—READ LABELS. The average meal travels 1500 miles from the farm to your dinner plate.
9. Tell Congress that food safety is important to you. Each year, contaminated food causes millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths in the U.S.
10. Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections.