Do I have “the balls to really change the food system”?

Let me tell you a story about compromise. My husband, who is a wonderful man in many ways, simply does not care that much about sustainable agriculture. I cannot force him to care. He’s willing to compromise on a lot of our food purchasing and in some areas he’s been convinced, but I have to compromise. We buy 80% or more of our produce at the farmer’s market, but we also will buy 39 cents a pound bananas. We will participate in cow pools when available but we still buy most of our meat and fish at the locally-owned grocery store on sale. We still buy factory-farmed chicken but only from locally-owned, independent grocers. I would be happy as a mostly-vegetarian, he would not. I am happy to pay $7 a gallon for milk simply for the freedom to opt out of the system, he absolutely refuses due to price, so we compromise and buy regular milk at a locally-owned grocer. He will pay $12 a pound for cheese produced at a local dairy because it’s excellent cheese, and he loves local honey and preserves. It’s a constant source of discussion for both of us, and I am often frustrated because I feel I am not walking the talk.

A few days ago a true- but rather unforgiving- article was posted to Grist.org.

Read the article. Sit on it for a bit. Read the comments.

There is nothing here I disagree with in theory. I know that all of these things are true, especially about the apparent cost of sustainably-produced food. It seems so much more expensive than store-bought food but it’s an illusion. I know you all know this. However, to someone who does not understand how the system works, the higher price of the food and the relative difficulty in procuring it is daunting if not an up-front turn off. You have to have a hell of a lot of commitment to put your wallet where your mouth is.

We all live in the real world, and this kind of commitment is all about compromise. What is a higher priority? Every single person has to decide if they care, how much they care, and what they’re willing to sacrifice. If you’re in a relationship, then each member of the relationship has to decide, and then they have to find a common ground between the two.

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *