By Carla Crownover
Republic of Austin
I currently am on the 164th day of my self-imposed Year Without the Grocery Store Challenge.
Why go a year without going to the grocery store?
What prompted me to make this rather wacky decision was the movie Food, Inc. I was already a fairly healthy eater, an avid vegetable gardener, was shopping mostly on the outer edges of the grocery store, and was already buying fresh, not processed foods, with the exception of canned black beans, canned tuna, tomato sauces, white flour, pasta, tortillas, and condiments.
I bought most of my meats and vegetables at the grocery store, sometimes even at Costco. I had frequented farmer’s markets for a couple of years, but I still went to the grocery store quite often, sometimes hitting several on Saturdays. I had joined Slow Food USA and Slow Food, Austin, organizations that aim to get folks reconnected with their food supply.
So, last Winter, after avoiding the movie Food, Inc. for months out of fear of what it would reveal, I decided to man up (or woman up) and watch it. The effect of that movie and the information regarding the way commercial, industrial agriculture really works left an impact on me that has not lessened in six months. Seeing chickens being genetically modified and fed in a way that they can’t bear the weight of their own breasts, raised in layers, stacked in the dark their whole lives, was too much. Learning the amount of hormones and antibiotics pumped into cattle, who are fed corn to fatten them up, when cattle are designed to eat grass, was rough. The manipulation of soy (and other) seeds by Monsanto, to make them resistant to their pesticide Round-up was the kicker.
I decided I didn’t want to eat that. Any of it. So, rather than thinking it through, planning ahead, weighing the pros and cons, I pronounced on Twitter that I was not going to shop at any grocery store for one year. The day after my pronouncement, I had second thoughts, but had gotten so much encouragement on Twitter and via email, that I knew I should stick with it.
Uh-oh. Now what?
The first consequences of my decision were immediate, as I ran out of dairy to put in my coffee. There was not a Farmer’s Market until the following Wednesday, at the Triangle, and no dairy at that market. I quickly realized how convenient it had been to stop at Fresh Plus and pick up something for dinner on my way home from Downtown. And, I drank lots of Perrier.
Read the full post at Republic of Austin