Soapboxes & Shopping Lists

by Matt on November 10, 2006


Unlike many other common people, I derive great pleasure from buying my
food only at local area farmer’s markets.  I buy sustainable fruits and
vegetables that have not traveled more than 18.382 miles, artisan
handmade cheeses (doesn’t always have to be farmstead but it couldn’t
hurt), handcrafted sausages and humanely, compassionately raised beef
and poultry. And then I immediately drive home and post my pictures and
write about my experiences, joining the select few that have the income
and means to buy themselves  an unattainable culinary superiority.

And boy, it feels sooooooooo good.

only kidding, people! That was my attempt at good old-fashioned
sarcasm, but you’d be correct if you sense a bit of my annoyance with
the type of person who truly believes this way – even if they’d never
admit to it. Truth be told, shopping for food is indeed a political
act, a powerful choice we have as consumers to put our money where our
mouths are, literally, and practice what we preach. I applaud that. I
just don’t applaud the holier-than-thou attitude that sometimes
accompanies it.

More often than not, those great big bright
boxes of artificial light and canned music known as conventional grocery stores are the only real choices for food purchases. Those on
fixed budgets or those who are geographically challenged don’t have the
access – or knowledge – that many of us have (you West Coasters know
what I’m talking about), and it breaks my heart to hear or read how
some of us place value judgments on an entire group of people based on
their shopping patterns. No, I’m not pushing supermarkets, but I’m not
condemning them, either.

So the person who prompted this entry,
I applaud your decision to shop and eat locally- we’re more alike than
you think. But please remember that not everyone has the opportunity
and income to eat as well and you and I do, and we should never ever
fault them for that.



Now that I’m off my soapbox I’d like to lighten things up a bit with The Grocery Lists Collection, a site that posts found shopping lists. It’s like kitchen voyeurism, seeing the things people need – or don’t need (who makes a list for things they don’t need?).  Check it out, it’s pretty damn amusing.