I am realizing just how complacent I am about the products I buy. Whether it is food or goods, convenience and addiction overrides my better judgement even when I know the truth. For instance, cigarettes. I have known that they are slowly killing me, I know that they are engineered to keep me addicted to them… and yet I gleefully light up. I have tried quitting several times, and even had one or two of those times result in success for a short period of time. Even being broke is no deterrent. I will buy cigarettes before I buy food. Cigarettes are one of my more obvious ways that I ignore the truth – but there are several less obvious choices I make everyday that are just as bad.
Now I talk a lot about my garden and the joys of having food that is good for me. The joy of growing it, and just knowing that I am saving some money and doing something positive for my environment. Even gardening now needs special attention because you have to be aware of where your plants and seeds are coming from. If you don’t pay attention – you get the same things that you get in the grocery store (Genetically modified vegetables) and you aren’t doing anything different or even eating healthier.
Now until all the press against Monsanto, there are many people (myself included) who had no idea what was going on with our food and products. The problem is that like cigarettes, we are addicted to many of the products that Monsanto makes or contributes too. Seriously. The list is scary. Here is a link to a printable list of food and products to avoid should you want to eliminate Monsanto from your pantry: http://www.realfarmacy.com/printable-list-of-monsanto-owned-food-producers/
When you try to make these changes and you look at this list – it means reevaluating EVERYTHING. I mean in order to really get this stuff out of your home, you need to go back to the good ole’ days of making everything from scratch – and even then unless you are grinding your own flour for your homemade pasta, you are still using products that are changing our physiological make-up. While it seems like a losing battle – just like everything else in life that is hard, the changes will be worth it.
Just in the few changes I have made about eating I have noticed positive changes in my body. I am losing weight without trying, I feel better and have more energy, and I even sleep better at night. The only consistent change I have made it to eliminate fast food and beer. I think I would feel superhuman if I managed to change more. It is a slow process though. I eventually want to never have another canned product in my home. I want all my fruits and vegetables to be seasonal and either grown myself or purchased from a local farmer. I want to eliminate any product made with plastic from my kitchen. I want to be a consumer who is aware. Even if I ignore it like I do with cigarettes, I at least want to have the knowledge of what I am eating or using.
Last growing season I learned how to preserve my hot peppers and we are still eating them. We should run out about the time the ones in the garden are ready to pick. If we can do that with peppers, we can do that with everything. This year I am growing a ridiculous amount of tomatoes because I want to can and preserve diced tomatoes, make my own sauce and paste for cooking throughout the year, and ensure that we have enough to get us through. It is hard work, a lot harder than running to the store and picking up a can of Hunt’s (on the list). However, there is a certain satisfaction when we are running to the store and have even one thing we don’t need to buy because we already grew it in the garden.
Obviously as consumers we like convenience, that is why these monster companies have been so successful. This morning I looked in our fridge and noticed our convenience purchases. We have a “bag of salad”, you know the kind with cabbage and carrots in it. No real cabbage or carrots, and the lettuce always looks a little wonky – but its easier than growing cabbage, carrots, and lettuce then washing it, cutting it up… you see where I am going right? These companies have made it so easy for us that we don’t even realize (or care) where it is coming from or what is truly in it. Changing this addiction to convenience is a lot harder than it looks. It’s harder I think than quitting smoking. Of course ask a former smoker if the change was worth it and you always get a resounding YES! Hard – but worth it.
So we are trying to make the hard choices, knowing that it will be worth it in the long run. I don’t like being manipulated by these huge companies and now that I am more aware of just how much control I have given them, I am even more motivated to change.