I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season :) I had a family gathering to attend, out in California. It was so great to get together with my mother's side of the family. One of the highlights of the trip was a shopping trip through a Trader Joe's grocery store with several of my cousins, after a lovely organic lunch at the Stanford Cafe at Stanford University. I was very pleased to see such an interest by the local college community in healthy, sustainable eating, and that affordable options are available, like at Trader Joe's. We picked up lots of snacks and treats, like organic pita chips and chocolates, and we strolled the aisles while sipping samples of delicious hot organic spiced apple cider. The prices at Trader Joe's are amazing. $4.99 for almond butter, for example, which sells at my local grocery store for $10.99. Eating organic doesn't require spending your whole paycheck.
We had a lovely Christmas at home. Our four-year-old is thrilled with the all-natural wooden food toys by Melissa and Doug, that Santa Claus left under our tree. She's busy scooping ice cream, serving us fresh-baked frosted cookies, singing Happy Birthday to Jesus and serving cake, and taking her favorite stuffed toys to the grocery store. She made me so proud when she remembered to bring her own reusable bags ;) We're very happy that she's following in our green footsteps.
Now that we have a few days to relax, and spend time as a family, hubby and I finally got around to watching a few movies, including Food, Inc., which I've been very eager to see. I remember reading Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation in college, and I was so glad to have taken that class in economics of food. That book really opened my eyes to the industry of manufactured food, and was the starting point of what would eventually be a green, organic lifestyle. I was very pleased to see that Eric Schlosser, along with Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, and In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, which I really enjoyed, were producers and hosts in Food, Inc.
This is a really well put together movie; not at all dry, like typical documentaries. The crews explored the hidden ugly truths behind feed lots, the tyrannical power of the multinational food conglomerates, like Monsanto (which just happens to be on the top of my personal list of despicable companies). Being able to see how powerless farmers are, at the mercy of these giants, really helped us reinforce our decision to make organic, local food choices, whenever possible. If we, as consumers, continue to buy cheap, unhealthy products, that's what the market will produce. But the opposite is also true. Watching one farmer's commitment to producing real food, the natural way, gives us all hope, that maybe feedlots and food contamination will someday be a thing of the past -- humankind's one time experiment gone wrong. Our family has already made the shift to organic produce through our buying club, and we've increased our proportion of organic meat purchases to conventional. We're hoping to make a total switch by investing in a deep freezer, and splitting whole grass-fed steer with our club next.
Every penny spent does send a message to the producers and suppliers. Let's all make a commitment in 2010 to send a loud and clear, green, organic message to all of them.