If you’re food secure, you probably walk the aisles with a sense of possibility. Especially when it comes to higher-end or more intimate markets, your identity as customer means you are there to be served and valued: imagine what this alone does for your sense of worth.
By Sean Cloran. Growth of the world’s food supply won’t reduce food insecurity, and it may even cause more problems. Equally distributing access for all to food will reduce food insecurity, and reducing current food production levels while farming in more ecologically-friendly ways will restore balance to the environment.
The side of myself that wants my hands in the dirt and never to encounter a shower usually overpowers the side of myself that finds restoration in makeup application and shoes that clack when you walk, but sometimes the dynamic shifts. When it does, I thoroughly appreciate Goodwill sprees and REI store explorations, sometimes even H&M (don’t tell anyone)…
Many of these items (plastic and paper cups, utensils, napkins) are so cheap to produce that they automatically come with our food—even if we don’t want them to. As a result, we view these “free” materials as nearly worthless, and they go from single-use resources to “zero-use” resources: how many times have you received a straw with your drink that you didn’t use, or a clean napkin that you threw away with the rest of your meal?
Most Americans would agree on the counterproductiveness of needless spending, while admitting to doing so quite regularly—it is something we are all guilty of in our pursuit of pleasure. Many of us rationalize this spending as a necessary evil for a strong economy; in reality this could not be further from the truth.
Efforts to find balance between our reliance upon food and our consequent vulnerability to it can be exhausting amid distractions of healthwashed products, hectic schedules, and the disparate parallel food journeys of those closest to us.
During this time, when our lives have turned sideways and we adjust to new ways of consuming, we are given an opportunity to re-evaluate what it costs to sustain our system of supply, and what drives our level of demand. We can learn from the crisis we face right now and, aided by this perspective, equip ourselves to prioritize environmental health.
Many of us are stuck on the notion that it takes nerve to rebel against the guidance of the date label. But sniffing out freshness doesn’t require the experience of trial and error. It isn’t a skill we learn: it’s a skill we’re born with.