Elitist Groceries

I’m hungry! I’d also like to maintain my weight by choosing healthy, albeit delicious, items to masticate. Oh! But I forgot healthy food is only affordable to those with a six plus figure salary.

This is the plain truth staring me in the face at every glaring green grocer sign. Healthy items have become an elitist item for those of affluence. You may be thinking here, ‘well I fit in the (shrinking) middle class, and I can afford fresh foods’. But are they really ‘fresh foods’?

With the population growth and in turn, the expansion of food production, unless it’s certified local organic, those tomatoes you’re eating are far from ‘fresh’. They’re most likely a product of Mexico or the great US of A, and have been pumped full of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and quite possible fish DNA so they stay ‘fresh’ on their long and unnecessary trip to the dinner table. Just because it looks like a tomato and kinda tastes like one, a tomato it ain’t, at least not as nature intended.

We are currently living in a crumbling western world with an almost non existent middle class and a rich and poor ratio that nearly matches the other in breadth. On one hand we have the availability of certified local organic foods that have been, let’s be honest, become a luxury, on the other hand expanding waist lines and obesity problems in the lower income classes, and the middle is being given the deception of ‘fresh’ and ‘healthy’ in the local grocery aisles. How is it possible that in a country that could very well be completely self sufficient with our resources and ample farmable land be unable to feed its constituents with the same quality of food? For two reasons…

Reason #1:
Money. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to further explain the single most drivable force in a capitalistic society.

Reason #2:
Free trade. Yup. I said it. Not to be confused with Fair Trade, Free trade refutes any pressures to be placed on companies to be environmentally or socially responsible because there are no monetary penalties for outsourcing unnecessarily. There are several fresh items that can be (and are grown) in Canada year round, and what happened to seasonal availability? I don’t demand the availability of a Christmas tree in the middle of July, so why is there an expectation to have peaches available in January? Because we’ve stopped thinking about it.

Trading goods and services is a good thing to maintain a stable global economy, but taking business away from Canadian farmers and local greenhouses to save a nickel on grapes is ludicrous! Outsourcing should only be optional as a last resort, when the product or skill is unavailable, it should not be free to companies looking to save a dime and horde a dollar, not at the expense of our people, our farmers and our health.

So what can we do?

– Ask your MP, your federal government, to favor ‘fair trade’ over ‘free trade’.

– Ask your grocer why there are so few local organic options and demand their availability.

– Support the application of Vertical Farming to urban areas (see below links for further information).

– Bite the bullet and buy some elitist groceries (sure, your grocery bill will expand, but it’s better than your waistline).

Social and environmental responsibility is ours to maintain. Consumer demand is what drives prices and availability, and the companies that feed us are accountable.

Besides, I’m hungry and I’d like a tomato, and not just something that just looks like one.

-Parry

*for more information on Canadian food and related, please see the following links:

Ontario Seasonal Availability:
http://www.foodland.gov.on.ca/english/availability.html

Eating Local:
http://m.youtube.com/?rdm=4owzg9e3o&reload=3#/watch?bmb=1&v=Z6YhXnnYbNA

Vertical Farming:
http://www.verticalfarm.com/

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