Nope, today's post is about food choices.
Recently, Bo and I were craving rice crispy treats. Since I'm not a huge fan of packaged foods, I decided to make my own at home. Luckily, I found organic puffed rice (cocoa flavored, no less!) at the commissary, and I keep Earth Balance (sometimes Smart Balance) at home. However, the challenge came with the marshmallows. Now, I know that Whole Foods carries vegan-friendly marshmallows, but a single bag costs between $5.00-6.00, not to mention the thirty minutes it would take me to drive across town. In the end, I bought a package of Jet-Puffed Marshmallows that contain gelatin...and I felt a little guilty.
In situations like that I feel really conflicted about my food choices. On the one hand, I feel good about choosing an organic rice cereal and Earth Balance (or even organic butter); but on the other hand, I feel a little ashamed of myself for buying the Jet-Puffed Marshmallows. In general, I'm not a fan of the use of gelatin (if you're interested in knowing what's in it - and how it is made - read here). I also try to steer clear of any products that are made with dairy products that are not organic (you would be SHOCKED at how many packaged products contain dried egg whites, dried milk, etc.).
- OK, a lot of the time -
it is really difficult to steer clear of every product with which I have an ethical dilemma.
But even then I frequently feel conflicted about things.
- What about the whole wheat bread that we buy - is it sprayed with harmful pesticides? Is it grown on land that could be used for grazing happy cows?
- What about the tortilla chips that we buy? Is the corn produced in a way that is sustainable for our environment over a long period of time?
- What about the jelly that I spread on our PB&J sandwiches - does it contain pectin?
- and on...and on...and on...
After reading things like Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, and watching movies such as Food, Inc. and Polycultures: Food Where We Live, I want to be a responsible (and educated) consumer. I want to be the type of consumer that makes the earth a stronger, healthier, and more balanced ecosystem. And I suppose that, sometimes, I feel a little paralyzed by the fear of making an uninformed - or simply a lazy - decision that will negatively impact the earth, all the animals in it, the atmosphere, etc.
And then I think that - perhaps - I am being a little too dramatic.
Maybe what the world needs is a little more balance.
Maybe I am being too hard on myself.
Maybe the fact that I am writing this blog post is a sign that I really care, and that I am really trying to be a good steward of what I have been given.
- just maybe -
- along with all of its multi-legged inhabitants -
will cut me some slack when I buy Jet-Puffed Marshmallows.
Question of the Day:
Do you ever face an "ethical dilemma" related to the foods you purchase? Do you try to buy organic for certain foods (or food groups)?
I would LOVE to hear your comments and feedback on this topic!
Ally and Bo