so i initially started this blog to talk about food, a minor obsession of mine (some would say major obsession; my students from last semester would say it's all corn, all the time). i've been writing a lot about cooking, not really food politics. and now that i've been baking for the housing works for a while now, i've noticed some things.
- i don't get paid enough to make everything organically. the organization hasn't asked me to make everything using organic products, but i really want to do so. isn't that what we should be eating?
- eggs that are NOT free-range or organic or from pasture-fed chickens come in styrofoam packages. if i chose any or all of those options, i would be losing money on the goods i make just from the eggs alone. the "regular" brown eggs come a recyclable container. why not the others? and why are the brown eggs 30 cents more? is it the container? i spend extra so that the container is recyclable but the dilemma in the egg case at the store is maddening. am i the only one who over-thinks this issue?
- milk is another story. i buy organic valley milk. it's so good, and i don't even especially like milk. it's seemingly obscenely expensive, but the gross sorta-pasteurized regular kind doesn't last. i never even finish the carton, and buying the small bottles makes it almost as expensive as buying the organic ones. no one wants bovine growth hormone and utter pus in their milk. anyhow, i love organic valley. their soy products and their dairy products are outstanding (i wrote them a letter last year to tell them so, and they even wrote back); they are a farmer-owned coop; their farming methods are so sustainable that they won an award for them. they really have all the characteristics that i want in a company. and a milk product. i guess that one is non-negotiable for me.
- to that end, what's the point? if EVERY product that you put into a cookie is not organic, sustainable, pasture-fed, et cetera, then does it matter? don't you still end up eating things that you don't want in your body? does it matter at all that i over-analyze the dairy case? is it a waste of time? and what about flour? i like the unbleached flour by heckers, but it's rarely on-sale, and therefore, too expensive. does it all have to be enriched flour? can't i just get some grains in a bag? and, is it just insanity that i have two bottles of vanilla extract at home? one for the housing works (mccormick)? and one for us (organic)?
- i can't help but read the labels. you have to do so. it's crazy not to, isn't it? there are scary things out there, and they are in the food! (best examples: high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated anything). and what the hell are "natural flavors?" just tell me the flavor; i'll be ok. really, i will.