For some reason, Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has been more successful at getting me into foodie consciousness than Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser combined.  This is probably because of the guilt.  It’s pervasive, partially because it’s somewhat prescient of the current downward spiral of American ag and food production, and partially in a ‘we did this project and before that ate free-range grass-finished meat for years, you could at least make a vague effort towards not causing our inherent destruction’ way.

Unfortunately, I live at home and my mother does the food shopping, in the old school coupon and sale flyer way, so I’m afraid, Barbara, this is a little more difficult than you anticipated.  The farmer’s market’s on the other side of town, we’ve had a crap season, and I can’t even talk Mom into buying fair trade coffee.

P: Do you think we could maybe cut down coffee consumption a little and buy fair trade coffee?
M: [looks at P like she has suddenly grown a second head, possibly a hippie] No.
P: What?  Why not?
M: I need my coffee.  And we don’t drink that much anyway and we go through it fast.
P: But…

Implied in the above conversation, but not actually stated, is ‘expensive’ and ‘pain in the butt’.  I’d really like to be a child of the revolution, but as long as I get fed on a discounted basis from House Of Mom, it’s not worth the effort.  Besides, while the idea of supporting local businesses is a very good one, there’s some evidence to show that pound-per-pound, the carbon footprint of a Wisconsin tomato at a farmer’s market here in the urban world is similar to the carbon footprint of one that’s been flown from California en masse…

Okay, okay, the truth is, I don’t have the willpower to give up eating nearly everything we have at home, or to fight the good fight with my mother over why we should start a whole new spending and consumption plan in a time of economic turmoil.  I fail at locavore and activism in my own lifestyle.

Maybe driving my car less makes up for some of it?

Anyway, the book’s good, but it’s preachy, and it’s stuff I’ve heard before.  Even so, I’ll be over here in the flagellator corner.

Advertisements