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Monday, October 16, 2006

Humble Pie.....I'm eatin'

You know, there are advantages and disadvantages to owning a business in a small town. Today was a disadvantage.

Let me start by saying that when you run an Organic Vegetable CSA - and espouse the benefits of eating organically and locally and supporting local businesses as much as possible - it kind of sets you up, if you know what I mean. What people don't realize is, we are all human. Just because my family tries to eat as healthy as possible, doesn't mean we don't enjoy the occasional junk foods or that we don't buy anything that isn't organic - oh, no, far from it. I don't have the time, energy or $$ to buy only organic and make everything from scratch - but, you wouldn't believe the people that think we do!

Now, back to the story.....I have been known to get up on my soap box about Walmart every now and then. Personally, I can't stand that frickin' place and for the most part, we avoid it like the plague. But, as stated above, we aren't perfect. Well, today, my kids needed some things for a science experiment - where the hell else are you going to go in this town for that? and I wasn't going to drive a half hour to the next biggest town - anyway, we are in Wallyworld and while I was there, I thought to myself, "Self, just forget your frickin' principles for one minute and buy the few things you need while you are here - who cares?" Well, it just so happens that one of the things that I needed was Ramen Noodles. Yes, yes, I know....probably the most unhealthy foodstuff produced, but I have a teenage daughter who loves them and the deal is, if she drinks the carrot juice that I make, she can have her damn ramen noodles - so sue me - life is a compromise, right? So, here I am with the ramen noodles of death, some bread (non-organic) - have you ever tasted organic bread? yuck!, organic grapes - see? see?, some ricotta cheese, chicken noodle soup (noodleo's - my kid's fave), a bag of Old Dutch potato chips - can't help it - love 'em and some various other toiletries and shit. Low and behold, here comes one of my CSA families (a rather die-hard bunch).

Of course, after the shock of seeing me in this god-forsaken place, they immediately look into my cart.......and then up at me.........and then back in my cart. Then they try to just look away and make small talk. So, I just call it out - "Yeah, pretty sad huh? The lady that grows all your organic vegetables and always running her mouth about healthy eating is buying ramen noodles....at Walmart....looks pretty bad, huh?" They just laugh uncomfortably. "Well, we all make sacrifices don't we and today, I'm making mine. Don't worry I haven't completely lost my mind, my next stop is the natural foods co-op to redeem myself."......More uncomfortable laughter.

Fuck it. I fretted about it all the way home, came home, bitched to my husband who always puts everything into perspective, he says, "who cares?" "you think they are going to stop buying your vegetables because you were caught in Walmart?" Probably not, but it was still embarrassing.

Why do we hold ourselves to these kind of standards? We all do our best, right? Yes, I know what Walmart stands for, what they do to small towns, how they run small business owners out of business and God help us, they are getting into the organic market share, of course - guess what that is going to do to our prices? - but we are all still human - we all just need to do what we need to do and I guess sometimes that means being human and being able to let your guard down now and then. Or maybe I'm just rationalizing a bad decision, humans can make bad decisions, right?

So, if I'm one family short on my CSA next year? If this one family decides to judge on my Walmart trip instead of the 19 weeks of fresh, organic vegetables that I deliver to them.........so be it.

1 comment:

ZaPaper said...

How about this: what was diehard CSA family doing in Walmart? What was in THEIR cart, hm? Maybe part of the uncomfortable laughter was their not wanting you to notice and ask what they were doing in the godforsaken place. Bah.