mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS

Buy local

I don't know whether it's Al Gore, or the tainted Chinese food news, or the movies I've been watching [1], or the articles I've been reading about bottled water [2]. The cumulative effect is anxiety about the food we eat.

It's not so much a worry about our health. Maybe it's part of my general annoyance that the world is out of control and we're being force fed a diet of corporate greed. And no one slows down enough to think about what she's putting in her mouth.

Well, here I am, in the slow lane. Pondering. Suddenly reading labels. Checking websites. E-mailing Wegman's, my local grocery chain. Welch's uses domestic and Canadian grapes. All the limes in our store come from Mexico. Blueberries are in season — I'm reminding myself to buy from the local producers, not the ones in New Jersey. I deep forgetting to check whether our coffee is "fair trade" coffee. Did you know that Fiji water is actually imported all the way from the South Pacific?

I'm creeping up on this because I know they all lie. Maybe Welch's uses domestic grapes, but processes them in China. Who knows. They aren't saying. Who's the watchdog on these things? I don't mind paying a few cents more for a name brand if I'm not being duped. But who knows.

While I do have a refrigerator bin full of Mexican limes (a girl's gotta have her afternoon gin and tonic), the local produce is coming in so we're stocking up on peaches and raspberries.

Can the fresh water aquifers of the island of Fiji sustain the production of a million bottles of water per day? There is a beautiful water processing and plastic bottle plant there and people have jobs — but once the water's gone, then what? Meanwhile, I think I'll drink tap water.

7.19.07

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NOTES

[1] "Darwin's Nightmare" (2004)

[2] "Message in a Bottle," Fast Company, July 2007.

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