Last Monday I linked to an article “SOLE Food: Eating organically (and responsibly) on a food-stamp budget” penned by Michelle Gienow, which intrigued me at first because, like so many other families, we are trying (having) to trim where we can and the food budget is getting a good, hard look. I also, like so many other moms, am concerned about the quality of the food I feed my family, conserving the natural environment and the ethical dimension of food production. But the “SOLE Food” article left me with bad taste in my mouth.
I suppose this is entirely my own fault. I wanted an article, thoughtful and well reasoned by someone who is either talented at pinching a penny, a seasoned SOLE food practitioner, or at the very least someone who is somewhat familiar with both. What I got felt more like the ramblings of a spoiled suburban mom who shops at Trader Joe’s and fancies herself environmentally conscious because she frets over how many dead song-birds her coffee represents, gets a CSA box, shells out 7$ a gallon for milk and has the good sense to be appalled that she bought her children Chick–fil-a kiddy meals. And no, I am not exaggerating anything there. So, yet again, my judgment on this might be a tad harsh because of the expectations I had going in. I am sure she is a lovely person and yes, she is at least “trying”, but it still me off a little (and really pissed off some people in her comments).
As happens every once in a while I sat down to write a response to this and ended up with multiple tangents going off in different directions. So I am just breaking them apart instead of sitting here with a blog with no new posts for days on end. My thoughts meandered off into several different directions. First there is the thought about SOLE, what is means, what I think it should mean, where it fails and where it can be better. Children of that tangent spring their own full blown ideas: Why we need to rethink what we think of labor, can the world be sustained by small farming and what would that mean, and why we need homemakers and how homemaking promotes a truly sustainable world. And finally I realized that I can take on the “foodstamp” budget challenge pretty much anyway I want. First off by dumping the concept of “Foodstamp budget” and then going ahead with just a thrifty budget and secondly by changing the SOLE idea to more match what I think is a real-life friendly way.
So I will be popping these up as I get them complete and then linking them all back together.