Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fighting Over Avocadoes

I had a very intense conversation with my fiance the other night after I commented that I didn't enjoy how our town is laid out so that there is no public infrastructure for transport. We went to one of the local grocery stores and didn't find what we needed, an avocado.

So we decided to drive to the other grocery store and by the time we got there (all of a 1.563 min drive) I was really hot and bothered that we HAD to drive to get there.

I felt so very frustrated that we didn't stop to think ahead or even have a conversation about HOW we were going to get to the store - which frankly - wasn't that far away!

Could we have planned better and walked, enjoying the warm weather? DEFINITELY! Could we have pumped up our tires and enjoyed a leisurely 5 min bike ride together, enjoying the smells of the blooming trees and the giggles of the kids using the water park on the way to the store? DEFINITELY! We had the choice and we were so used to doing it this way (driving everywhere) prior to me going to school, we never bothered to challenge ourselves with contemplating other methods....So believe me we contemplated. I think it's been a bit of a wake up call for him but I continue to speak my truth and show by example, hoping as a couple we can find some common ground.

So my fiance brought up the point about organic food being more expensive and so we had a conversation about the 'real' cost of the food and how traditionally (or should that say industrially) farmed food does not account for the cost of damage to our soil nor the toxic accumulation of pesticides and their health implications resulting in dis-ease and pressure on our health systems. These are NOT reflected in the price.

He asked me a good question that I'm still thinking about...."Would you buy a non-organic avocado in the grocery store you have already driven to or would you drive to another grocery store in order to buy an organic avocado?". I said I would have been happy to ride my bike there to buy it for him!

It's an important example of how we are so muddled and swamped with evaluating the global health pros/cons of our actions these days. A friend said that everything we do is hypocritical so why bother? I personally think there is a happy medium with a whole systems perspective out there....it's just not an easy nor quick answer.

My suggestions:
1. Dematerialize how much fossil fuel we are using by riding our bikes
2. Commit to buying organics because they often represent food produced without the use of bio-accumulative, petroleum based insecticides/pesticides (substances which accumulate in our ecosystems)
3. Commit to buying organics because they often represent farming practices that do not systematically destroy the soil's productivity and stop the loss of valuable top soil
4. Evaluate the frequency of eating a fruit that is not found locally

Really, it comes down to doing the best you can personally with the information you have. I have made a commitment to myself to watch less TV, blog more and READ more. My next read is a book that is relevant to this blog post and will hopefully provide some food for thought about my carbon footprint. I will let you know the verdict.

"How to live a low-carbon life : the individual's guide to stopping climate change" by Chris Goodall.

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