Okay, so maybe grabbing the 36oz glass jar of Adam’s All Natural Peanut Butter wasn’t such a good idea after walking to the grocery and gathering bulk goods to make granola bars. But at the expense of my shoulders, the entire escapade left me with a week’s supply of fruit and no waste to show for my work- I used paper bags for the granola and nuts, and walking even saved gas.
But I’m going to be honest here, I was procrastinating grocery shopping with an expertise that can only really be found in the later years of a university student. I let that one sit on the back burner so long, it boiled over several times before I finally set the day, and wandered out the door so early, I only really woke up halfway to the store.
So what was it about going grocery shopping that I was so afraid of? I’ve never been stressed about grocery shopping before (quite the opposite in fact) and as small towns go, the grocery stores here have more than enough fresh food to supply a diverse diet- so what changed?
It was on my early morning walk back home, sometime between accepting the numbness in my left shoulder and losing feeling in the right, that I realized I was the one who had changed.
Grocery stores now make me uncomfortable because of the lifestyle they represent.
Excessive packaging and the use of plastic to maintain freshness is thought to be a necessity when it comes to stocking the shelves these days- such is the way of the “convenience” culture we live in. If the food is pre-made or frozen, that’s even better, regardless of the chemicals used to keep it edible. I’m not going to preach about healthy diets or avoiding certain chemicals, that’s what vegans are for (harmless joke, I respect your lifestyle. Take a deep breath and keep eating your carrots). I will, however, say this:
There is an undeniable relationship between the food we eat, and the way it’s packaged; in addition, there is a clear relationship between the garbage we accumulate and the values we hold as individuals. Both of these things, now that I have written them out, seem very obvious, I know. And yet, in the grocery store, I couldn’t help but feel this sort of rational logic slip away, to be replaced by the rush of opportunity and the desire to eat any and all foods with an abundance of ease. There is something truly liberating about having that sort of variety and choice; you don’t always get to choose your circumstances, your job, even your wealth, but I’ll be damned you get to choose what you’re having for dinner tonight. And while I am aware of the financial boundaries created in the food market, I can’t shake this nagging feeling that the prep/cook time saved with pre-made food is a large deciding factor in many of today’s grocery shoppers.
Another thing to consider is the nature of the seller; excess packaging and the use of plastic is often an indicator of a mass-producer. I am far from being economically educated, but this sort of process line usually results in cheaper products, creating an effective win-win for grocery shoppers everywhere- or so they think.
“Given the excess of waste, and the steadily declining nature of, well, nature, this is the exact opposite of a win-win.” Says the radical hippy girl.
I know I have my green goggles on here, but there is so much more to this on a larger scale. Think about this:
Food is the fuel of our bodies and the fluid of our minds. It is the medicine to keep at bay our inevitable death, and in hand with the physiotherapy we call “activity”, the secret to a long life. So at what point did we lose such respect for ourselves that we can’t be bothered to maintain our bodies with proper nutrition? Such that we can’t be bothered to maintain and consider the environment that we wholly depend on? What possible priorities could surpass the well-being of your children, of their children? I have some theories as I’m sure you do too, but my overall point is that something so fundamental, so completely necessary, should be talked about and considered with intention and foresight- not a price tag and a stopwatch.
“But Em, pizza pops are life. I don’t like cooking…” You whine.
Well, fingers crossed you marry someone that does. You will get no sympathy from this tree-hugger.
A dose of reality: I understand that this is view is not going to be widespread across the board, trust me, I do. But coming from someone who is sauntering (I mean, really sauntering, we’re talking record low sluggish speeds) through a degree, I have a lot to say on the entire topic of speed walking through life. I don’t see the point in moving so quickly I don’t have time to enjoy the view or choose the menu, and balance is really important to me. Socially, physically, financially, it’s all entirely circumstantial, but it can all be balanced- it just takes a little work and focus. Responsibility is another huge one for me, something I think going zero waste has already spoken for. All of these values will play a crucial role in my current transition, and they will be highly present in my blogs.
What I’m really trying to say is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tthd7LJPfmE
In other news, I did in fact make homemade granola bars (which turned out to be fancy granola, bonus!) this week.
I found a great recipe on a site called minimalistbaker.com which I think creates a huge amount of conversation regarding convenience and health food, as much of what this amazing woman creates is quite simple and designed to be “minimalist” in some way. Needless to say I will be frequenting this site.
I am sad to say my DIY fabric flowers were low on my priority list this week, however I did manage to get outside, breathe plenty fresh air, and hold many, many sticks.
As May Long Weekend approaches, I assure you, camping is on my mind.
Every week is a new adventure and I never could’ve anticipated finding this much joy in giving my beliefs a chance to flourish. Well wishes and encouragement for you to do the same, whatever your passions may be.
All the best,