Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Becoming a locavore

I come up with the strangest notions! First I was thinking of becoming a dentist... then a pharmacist... now a locavore. Don't worry, this one isn't a new career.

And before I begin (this sentence is actually being written when I'm about halfway through), this blog may seem kind of hypocritical. That's because I am just throwing around ideas in my head... I have certain thoughts, but don't necessarily do them myself, and sometimes don't even know where I stand on these things. So I'm just writing down all of the things I'm throwing around in my head right now.

Here's what happened: last night Geoff and I were watching Jon and Kate Plus 8, as we do every Monday night (don't ask me why he likes it, but I'm glad he does). Well, Kate Gosselin is kind of freakish... she feeds her family almost entirely organic foods, always packs them snacks and lunches, and is REALLY big on what she feeds her family. It is talked about very often... she frequently says things along the lines of "we make sacrifies elsewhere so that we can give our children this wonderful gift". There are two episodes every Monday night - the first one last night was about how they were going to an organic farm to buy half of an organic cow to feed their family for a year. It was kinda cute actually, the kids were hilarious while they were at the farm. On the second show, some chick named Sara Snow was coming to meet with Kate for a day. I'd never heard of her before, but apparently she (like the Gosselins) also has a show on Discovery Health. She is apparently some sort of organic / green lifestyle expert, and was coming to show Kate even more about how to incorporate organic foods into their diet and also into their entire lifestyle (such as organic clothing, organic cleaning supplies, etc.). It was freakish. I know that Geoff and I get the organic bin every couple of weeks, but we get it mostly out of convenience, not because we specifically care about the food in it being organic - although we're both willing to admit that some of the food DOES taste better. I have often mocked my friends who try to eat mostly organic foods - calling them "hippie freaks". So I kept thinking "this is hippie freakish, this is hippie freakish".

Then I couldn't get it out of my mind!

So today I am thinking about becoming more organic / living a green lifestyle. I am not really sure what you call these things yet. :) And I am not committing to it, and certainly shouldn't be blogging about it, but I am blogging because I think it's interesting and because I want to share my thoughts. So we already eat almost exclusively organic fruits/vegetables/herbs. Sara Snow said it's easiest (or she recommends, or most people, or something) to start with meat and dairy. Those seem like the LAST things I would want to do - maybe because I happened to see the price of organic ground beef at Costco the other day. Although when I order garlic in our organic bin it is usually $1 - $1.50 per bulb, and I saw it at Fred Meyer a few days ago at 3 / $1 (non-organic). So yes, obviously eating organically is much more expensive. But I am thinking of going to organic bread. That seems like a next good step for me, and I can order it in the organic bin. And possibly even buy it at Costco... and I like anything I can buy at Costco! I have read articles in Costco Connection (the Costco magazine) about how they like to carry a lot of organic products. (and why wouldn't they, it's the new genius money-making trend). Anyway, so I'm thinking of going to bread. I don't know what I would do after that. I am kind of confused about the organic household cleaners thing... Sara was talking about how we breathe in all of these strong cleaners and toxins and chemicals and it is bad for our respiratory systems. I do agree with that (so did Geoff actually)... it kind of goes along with my belief that we use way too many antibiotics and other medications. I try to limit my use of medication as much as possible (getting Remicade every other month bothers me to no end... although I do COMPLETELY understand the value of using medications when appropriate). I still use painkillers if necessary, but I try to really evaluate why I'm using them - okay, I have a headache. Am I hungry? Am I tired? Is there something else my body is trying to tell me that I can fix before I try to use a pill? I've done that for probably a year or so. But I absolutely will still use pain killers, cold medicines, etc. I just try to make sure I'm keeping my use in check.

Got off topic there... so off topic I need a new paragraph. Anyway, so the household cleaners: I do agree that cleaners could be bad for us. She recommended using 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water. I like that idea. And yet... it seems so "hippie freakish" to me. Why can't I get past the association in my head? She and Kate were cleaning mushrooms yesterday, and Kate was freaking out about having dirt on them... I was like GREAT, dirt is good for you. I think that another reason everyone is so sick all the time is because everyone tries to sanitize stuff and then when you get one germ in your body you don't know how to respond to it. So I was all about the dirt, and think it'd be cool to just use a basic cleaner. But then you'd have to mix it, and that seems crazy, and I dunno. But they do sell mixer bottle squeezie things at the Dollar Tree. So I could maybe handle that. That's another thought. (now no one is going to come to my house to eat ever again, huh?)

Then I thought of those reusable bags that they are pushing at Fred Meyer these days. For 99 cents (sometimes on sale 2 / $1), you can get reusable bags, instead of using paper or plastic bags when you go grocery shopping. I want to get those. I already have the reusable Ikea bags that are 59 cents each. They are awesome bags... huge and cool. So maybe some grocery store ones would be good. But what about my recycling? My recycling company still makes us sort - so I use paper bags for that. I do have three bins though, so I'm thinking when the fellas move out that we will have less recycling and therefore we can do glass, paper, plastic one week, and then cardboard, aluminum, and (???... paper again I guess) the next week. Other than that, I can't think of a single thing I really need paper or plastic bags for. Even when I went to Target or some other store... I surely could use reusable bags. My Ikea bags would be perfect for that.

I shared some of my thoughts with my friend Patrick. He said "you are becoming a locavore?" I asked what that is, and he referenced a New York Times blog from this morning that he said talked about a locavore, which basically means "crunch folk who only eat locally grown foods". (Patrick's definition). The organic bin tries to use locally grown foods when possible, although I know it's not all locally grown. Apparently the Google cafeteria offers locavore-friendly food. But I don't know if I'm there on that one yet.

I also told Geoff via text message:
Me: "I am writing a blog about how I kinda want to become a green freak like Sara Snow."
Geoff: "Please don't. She scared me."
Me: "Why?"
Geoff: "You can be green, just don't be like her. She was a freak."
Me: "Okay! Will you be green with me?"
Geoff: "I suppose so."
Me: "You don't sound thrilled."
Geoff: "Was I supposed to? I am thrilled!"
She really WAS a freak. But we both thought she was fantastic with all 8 of those kids, and I did kinda like her ideas.

Then I told my sister. She said this:
"Confusing.. One day you dont care about the environment..the next day you are going to become an organic hippie freak? However, I support you in the organic lifestyle..that is great! Better for your body, esp since you have Crohn's... probably better for you esp.. I am a HUGE supporter of small farms.. I LOVE farmers markets.. co-ops.. things like that. Fresher food.. better for you.. better for the farmers.. helping to keep small farmers around.. so that its not all huge companies that take over the place.. I very much support free range chickens too... and if it were feasible in my life right now I would love to only eat free range chickens.. It is much more expensive though. Anyways.. congrats"
She's a fan, which is no surprise to me. She's kinda a hippie freak herself.

Anyway... just my thoughts for today. I kinda thought this was amusing, especially Patrick's, Geoff's, and Christine's responses (don't worry, I told them all I was going to blog what they said, so I really don't just blog people's conversations to me randomly). So I guess we'll see where this "journey" takes me... might just be a dead-end right around the corner, but you never know.


Christine said...

I didn't know my WHOLE quote was going to be blogged about, but thats okay. I have a few issues that I need to clear up. You change your tune some.. Being a Locavore, going organic and being "green" are three different things.. you seem to use them interchangingly. Also, you can always do things YOUR way.. just because someone is a "freak" doing something doesn't mean you are going to be either. And while I do support all three of the aforementioned movements, I am a far cry from a hippie freak. Reusing bags is great too. We try to do that here, and we go through the "green register" at the supermarket..which has eco-friendly bags... that you have to buy if you forget yours. And its funny you mentioned eating dirt.. Im not sure if we were raised like that but Im the same way.. Im SO not afraid of a little dirt..

Christine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.