These are the times that the minister of myself reminds me that he only works for me. I am the only one in his congregation.
The temptation to don his outfit and walk around as his doppelgänger has been imposing itself on me. I see sins and evils all around me that the false preacher wants to rage against. What has given rise to this temptation to be the pretend preacher is hearing the continual accusation of power usurping by the wealthy and the corporations with which they whirl in dreamy tarantellas.
I ranted against the rants of those who shook their fists at the gas pumps. I then redirected the resulting white noise of my rants inward and took steps to reduce my carbon footprint by a couple of shoe sizes. As I once again attempt to wrap my arms around the world in Stretch Armstrong fashion, I feel the strain of the decaying rubber in my obsolete toy arms resisting against the leviathan that is the food industry. Out comes the preacher in disguise. Out comes the soapbox. In the end the false preacher appears as the disheveled schizophrenic vagrant in the middle of Pioneer Square holding a cardboard sign that proclaims The End is Near written with a half-dried Sharpie.
Sometimes it feels as if the Monsantos of the world have built an eight foot fence around me in all directions. I find myself sniffing out the tiny non-GMO sections of the grocery stores which can feel like looking for the town of Twisp on a map of the U.S. I play the Where’s Waldo game of locating the organic food stores in my city that are not so far I end up having to drive all the way across town, increasing my carbon footprint to a size 15.
I end up stocking my fridge and cupboards with organics and GMO free foods, only to find every potluck and luncheon and banquet and wedding offers a cornucopia of Frankenfoods. Am I eating wheat or bug repellent or birth control? Do I keep more popular food options on hand for my guests, some of which are so processed they make the hairdos of an 80s metal band seem like baby’s down? This is what ran through my head as I was shopping for a snack for my two year-old nephew. I wanted him to have something he would enjoy rather than imposing my Euell Gibbons menu options onto him.
A friend of mine once shrugged in resignation and stated about such causes, “If I make a change in my own lifestyle and no one else does, then it doesn’t have any impact”. I simply can’t allow myself to believe that, for one. Secondly, I cannot base a decision on whether or not it is embraced or condoned by the masses. That is not a decision based on integrity, it is a decision based on popularity. Third, I cannot be the only one who holds this view when there does exists the organic sections and sustainable grocery stores. After all, David did fall Goliath with a sling and a rock.
Perhaps these juggernauts of the food industry are attempting to choke out their competition like weeds through mafia tactics, subversion, subterfuge, and thinly veiled monopolizing. I may have an impact on their efforts by shoving clipboards in the faces of passers-by with legislative efforts that legally hamper their efforts. Perhaps I could enlighten people by recommending films such as Food, Inc. and The Future of Food so they can see how their choices in what they eat impact their health and our sustainability.
The greatest impact I can have is not by locking my minister in the house and proselytizing in his stead, then telling people what they should and shouldn’t put into their bodies. That is their choice to make. My greatest impact is to vote with my wallet. Use my own power of choice. Turn my back on their offerings, the way I might turn away from a group of gossiping friends if I choose not to participate in such discussions.
Yes, it does require more time spent looking for those out-of-the-way healthy sections and stores. Yes, these offerings of food can cost more than those mass produced by the corporate giants of the food industry. Yes, I do need to invest considerable time researching foods that are locally produced or have not been genetically mutated by pharmaceutical companies. I do need to expend the extra minutes reviewing the contents and labels of foods to screen what will become incorporated into my own genetic material. But if it’s a choice between spending my time and money on healthy food choices or spending my time and money in doctor’s offices and hospital beds, the choice is pretty easy.