Thursday, January 10, 2008

Power of Choice

I have been reading through the most recent issue of Saveur and some back issues. I love the wealth of information in this magazine from their brief memoirs to a sampling of a particular place, culture, family or food item. Lately I will spend free moments reading an issue cover to cover and I feel full upon finishing. This is a magazine about food, but more importantly it is about how every life is enriched and shaped by food and cooking. I appreciate that they delve into the history of foods and how economy, religion, people, location, politics, gender...everything flavors how and why we eat the food we do. For their January/February issue each year they have The Saveur 100: people, places, foods, restaurants and such they admire and love (2008 is the 10th anniversary of The Saveur 100). If you have a chance pick up one of these issues and be amazed by the diverse items that whet your curiosity and appetite.

A big problem now facing us all is how to be conscientious consumers in all things. The green movement not only faces us in our choice of car, appliances, cleaning products, but also in what and how we eat, what clothes we buy and where we buy our products. Often times paying less money may mean paying another price...antibiotics in the meat eaten and clothes made by people in intolerable conditions. How we spend money is more and more a political, ideological, moral and ethical decision. With all the technology at our fingertips and the ability to buy produce from nearly any continent of the planet there comes less knowledge about how these products are produced and transported to our shores. Conversely, there has never been a time when it is more important nor easier to find ways to be cognizant of the provenance of what we buy.

I have been reading and hearing some disturbing information about the food I consume and also the items I purchase for very seductively low prices and I am coming to realize I can't afford to only look at the upfront cost. I believe health wise the hormones in food I consume is causing me to confront issues I find challenging in the most positive of light. I have been speaking with my family about all of this and we are going to research organic foods. I want to know exactly what I am putting into my mouth. I in no way want to encourage the philosophy that profit is more important than all other factors and any means justify the result. When your whole goal is to gain material wealth you will go spiritually, emotionally, morally and mentally bankrupt.

I will try to keep you, dear reader, abreast of my process to cleanse my life, because that is what I am doing. I am going to see that life in all its various forms is worthy of time, attention, energy, contemplation and meaning. To relish the fact that choices matter--big and small and that I have every opportunity and the intoxicating luxury to live my life as I feel is just and right.

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