4 Apr 2018

ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
Going from consumer to producer is hard. Rather than being a mindless consumer buying on a whim, leaving a wake of garbage and packaging materials, we first made the shift to informed consumer. The fashion industry creates an aweful lot of the globe's pollution. By choosing to shop at second hand stores and bringing our own bags, we took our first steps away from consumerism. Next we decided to look at where the money is going. If you don't like the Koch brothers and what their money is doing to our political system, thanks to Citizens United, then don't give them your money. It's that simple. If you don't like the anti-LGBTQ people, don't buy from Chick-fil-a or Uline. They fund gay "reeducation" camps. Inform yourself before funding any business.

It goes beyond just buying "Made in the USA" items. Buy from artisans, buy local, fund small businesses that you want to see stay in business. Think twice before ordering from Amazon. Make it part of how you think. Buying Fair Trade items is a start. If you believe in a living wage, it must be true for all people everywhere. Cooperatives are another way to do this. Join a food co-op, an art co-op, or a CSA (community supported agriculture).

Combine trips so you use less gas. Buying a car is a very expensive proposition these days. If you knew your car will only ever drive 150,000 miles, will you take that extra trip into town? Each trip shortens the car's lifespan. So planning well becomes an important skill. Yesterday, I ran five errands in the same distance as just one errand because I planned it out.

Next we decided to shop bulk as much as possible. That doesn't mean buying huge quantities. We bring our own containers to the co-op. They all have a Tare weight written on them. The store will weigh your containers and mark them for you. We fill them up with flour, sugar, lentils, rice, olive oil, pasta, maple syrup, honey, etc. So, basically, we take an entire cupboard of empty containers to the store. Whole Foods and other stores allow you to do this too. You can save an entire garbage bag of packaging materials each week by shopping this way. A bonus is that your pantry will look nice and neat, just like a Pintrest picture.

And our last shift to becoming a producer is harder. We want to grow our own food. Not the meat and grains, we do live in the city. But the fruit and vegetables. Seeing what commercial agriculture on a massive scale has done to the landscape of America, the quality and nutrition of the food produced, and the chemicals involved, is outright disgusting. Food is no longer as nutritious as it was when I was a kid. Genetically, it is designed for shipping across country by truck, not for taste. And the erosion caused by modern farming practises is an environmental crime. We are getting to a point where the topsoil is gone. Dust bowl and deserts are in store, not just here but globally. Global food shortages mean war. Follow what is happening with the corruption in oil and food shortages in Venezuela. Scary stuff. This is where the Grow Your Own movement is coming from. We need to connect with our food supply. Whether it be farmer's markets, CSAs, food co-ops, or exchanging homegrown produce with your neighbors, connect with your food. Kids need to know that food comes from the ground, not Walmart. Learning to cook your own is also a big part of it. Preprocessed convenience foods have lots of additives to improve shelf life.

Connect at some level with your food and work your way down the rabbit hole. There is always more to learn. And so the paradigm shifts back to a time of seed swapping, Victory gardens and home food storage. Enjoy the adventure!

Seedlings getting used to their new pots

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