Thursday, January 20, 2005

ethical news, paraphrased
I was immensely relieved to read Birdy’s ruminations on lentils the other day, glad to know I’m not alone.
It was Sunday, I was talking to TA and we were walking home from the farmers’ market and about to pop into the newsagent’s to buy the Observer (featuring Food Monthly, which I adore), when I unburdened my soul.
Me: ‘Sweetheart, do you think I should buy a paper today? It makes me feel all dirty and sordid.’
TA [starts laughing]: ‘Eh?’
Me: ‘Well, I like reading the newspaper and I think it’s important to pay for the journalism, especially since I read my news online all the rest of the week, and of course I always recycle the newspaper when I’m done, but the sight of all the different sections of newspaper scattered around the sofa makes me feel queasy. I don’t even read half the sections and then there’s the plastic it’s packaged in. I just don’t know what to do for the best.
TA: ‘You think to much, now, go and get your paper!’
I was talking to TA last night over dinner.
Me: ‘Have you any idea how complicated my thought processes are before I decide to buy some food?’
TA [sensing he’s walking into a trap]: ‘No, do you have complicated thought processes before you buy food?’
Me: ‘It all starts with a few simple premises: 1: organic, 2: produced in the UK, 3: seasonal and sold by independent shops/buying direct are good, while lots of 4: food miles, 5: processing, 6: additives and 7: supermarkets are bad. But then it’s the nuances that get me. Take last week as an example. We bought the majority of our food from the farmers’ market (scores highly on 1-3), but we needed to get a few bits and bobs elsewhere so I went to Sainsbury’s (7 – eek) thinking at least that’s better than Tesco’s or Morrison’s and bought Brussels sprouts (2 but not 1) and lemons (1 but not 2). Finally, I worry that you’ve noticed that we’re essentially surviving on different combinations of protein with spinach, carrots, pumpkin and beetroot and are wondering why it is we never eat red peppers anymore.’
TA: ‘No I hadn’t noticed, I just eat what you put in front of me.’
Housemate C [after being briefed on discussions]: ‘My thought process is: “Have they got carrots?”. Are you going to blog this then?

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