Friday, July 22, 2011

The Politics of Food

Whew!  The last week or so has been a whirlwind wrapped up in a heat wave with a little extra craziness thrown in for good measure.  Now that things have calmed down a bit, I can actually get back to "normal," if there ever was such a thing.

I was trying to find a way to bring up how food has become increasingly political in a natural, easy going manner.  Enter Ann from Cooking Healthy For Me!  Ann commented on my previous post about organics providing a perfect starter topic on food, politics, and preference.  While Ann appreciates organic food, "sometimes finances dictate."  An honest statement and a perfect conversation starter. 

Food is a political topic.  By that I don't mean the standard American Democrat/Republican kind of "political," though both parties certainly have their own ideas about food, regulation, subsidies, and other topics.  What I mean is that food choices and food lifestyles are not only about preferences and tastes, but also about all of the other issues attached to food.  Some people will only purchase meat that is hormone free, grass fed, free range and antibiotic free.  Others won't buy produce that has seen pesticide.  Still others will only buy items that bear the "fair trade" label.  The lists of will and won't buy items stretch as far as the eye can see.  While some choices are perplexing, others seem rigid and others yet seem out of our financial scope, none of them are intrinsically wrong.

Though our food choices are packed with politics, they are also extremely personal.  Everyone is on their own path to wellness and their food lifestyles are purely their own.  Just because I say I'm going to try and replace a chunk of my produce with organic varieties, doesn't mean you have to.  I'm not better than you or anyone else for making that choice.  It just happens to be where I currently am at in relation to my health goals.  Some folks are just starting out, and simply adding more fruits and vegetables into their diet is a wonderful first step.  Others are leaps and bound beyonds me with some of the cleanest food lifestyles out there.  I don't feel inferior to them for where I am on my path and neither should you.

Where things get complicated, as if they weren't already, is in the financial department.  If finances didn't come into play, my crispers would be stocked with wholly organic produce.  Only the finest free range chicken and antibiotic free eggs would be allowed in my refrigerator.  But, once I return to reality I realize that my good intentions can't always be made manifest.  And you know what, that's ok.  I am a huge advocate of living well, but also living within your means.  What that means to you and what that means to me can be totally different things.  That's what's fun about food and lifestyle choices!

I'm excited about my commitment to cleaner cooking and eating.  My husband is joining me as well and even making some healthy swaps of his own.  Positive changes are definitely catching!  So stay tuned!  I have a great, and cost effective, recipe to share with you (complete with photos!) soon.   


  1. Wow - what a great post! I can't wait to see your recipe - I'm sure it will be absolutely delicious!

    I'm glad you're understanding about others who aren't completely on the organic bandwagon for whatever reason - not everyone is....this was a very thoughtful post...

  2. Great post! Love the recognition that financial constraints are a major factor in the politics of food!