Monday, November 29, 2010

To End a Perfect Sunday, or My Turn to Organic

Yesterday my day ended with some - how shall I put this? - trauma.

Let me preface this by saying I had a wonderful Sunday. One of those Sundays that is so relaxing you wish you could have another on Monday. My Sunday included waking up to my boyfriend, R.J.'s, omellete with green peppers, mushrooms, onions, ham and mozzarella cheese; doing my nails in sparkly hot pink while catching bits of Micheal Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story' and flipping through People magazine; a run on my treadmill; and dinner at my parents'.

When I returned home to my apartment after a rez-style dinner (hamburger la sauce padakan), I read the first 15 pages of a new book (Love in the Time of Cholera) and chatted with my friend, Katie, whose wedding reception I'll be attending in the Dominican Republic next week (eeek!!!). As it neared 10 o'clock, I wondered, should I go to bed and continue to read or see if anything is on T.V.? Not surprisingly, the television won. (Sidenote: one of the resolves I made this weekend was to temper my horrible T.V. habit - and I mean horrible as I count myself among those addicted to reality garbage - with more reading, music and doing things with my hands.)

Just check the usual stations and go to bed if nothing's on, I told myself. I flipped through the first few channels and found that 'Food, Inc.', a documentary I knew to be abuzz, was on CBC's 'The Passionate Eye.'

Perfect, I thought, pleased that my T.V. time this Sunday evening promised to be educational.

Then came the trauma.

For anyone who hasn't heard of 'Food, Inc.', it's an Academy Award-nominated documentary about the fast food and supermarket industries and what they have done to farming in the U.S. It combines things like state conspiracy, a tragic story of a two-year-old who died from e-coli and stomach-turning slaughterhouse scenes.

Not necessarily the kind of way you want to end a perfect Sunday.

Nonetheless, I am so glad I watched it. It was truly an eye opener for me. Sure, I knew the statement "grass-fed beef is good for you" to be true, but I never really understood the meaning behind it. (In other words, I had no clue whether cows were supposed to be eating grass, corn or hay!) I had heard others reference how sickly and poorly kept KFC chickens are, but I'd never seen any video or read any article for myself.

Now I am concerned about the food I eat and, simply enough, I want to know what goes into it. I am concerned for my heath and R.J.'s, the health of the family we will someday have and the state of the western world's reliance on corporate meat. A viel has been lifted and I can't go on eating whatever food is quick, easy and time-saving (as I learned when I found myself picking pieces of chicken out of my microwavable BBQ chicken and rice "meal").

I am going to start (and this is a huge leap for me) by not eating beef unless it's grass-fed or chicken unless it's grain-fed. I am also going to buy more organic and check out Ottawa's Organic Farmer's Market, open year-round on Saturdays. And, possibly most importantly, I am going to have to stop being lazy and get cooking!

As Anishinabekwe, I am hoping that our ancestors' connection to the food we ate will have a stronger pull than the inevitable supermarket/fast food attempts to win back my loyalty.

Stay tuned...

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