What’s Next After Prop 37?
Having spent some time in Germany over the past few years, I’ve become acquainted with their green hexagon “Bio” label for organic foods, and the emphasis on non-GMO foods in their diets. Even though Prop 37 seemed to be less-than-perfectly written, I wanted to support the idea behind it and give it the backing that it needed.
Sadly, more than 50% of my voting compatriots disagreed, largely due to a massive marketing campaign against the measure, funded largely by Monsanto.
I’ve supported more than my share of failed propositions since we got here in 1999, and I usually let the losses go fairly quickly. Nearly a month later, though, this one still stings.
I suppose that for all of the money spent by agribusiness, something good has come out of it: even as the least-educated food consumer imaginable, you couldn’t have a television or radio in this state without becoming increasingly aware about the existence of GMOs in the food supply. Did people know that six months ago? I wonder if Monsanto’s blanketing of the airwaves will come back to bite them in the long haul as people become more educated about their food choices.
So what’s a Betty to do in this situation? I feel a strange urge to be more of a part of the local food movement, not just as a consumer but as a provider, or maybe an educator. No, it’s not even the local movement; it’s the quality movement. I don’t care where it comes from, exactly, as long as it’s good. After all, I am the kind of person who gets her spices shipped from the midwest via UPS.
But at the same time, I don’t really know what role I could play in this. I already feel like an inordinate amount of my time is spent food shopping, meal planning and cooking, and frankly there are more than a few nights where I just wish that I was the kind of person who could swing by the local fast food joint and feed the family guilt-free.
I want to feed ourselves real food, but the effort required to do so is pretty substantial. Iit certainly doesn’t help that the good local market that used to be my go-to default for organic meats and local produce has been bought by a regional chain and is now… well, deeply disappointing. The farmer’s market with the good meats is 25 minutes away, but the one with the best vegetables is nearby. I could easily spend my entire Saturday morning driving all over the east bay to buy the week’s food; how committed am I?
I just feel like my summertime tomato farming isn’t cutting it. I should be buying fresh food in bulk and canning and preserving; instead, I try to spend my weekends doing radical things like unwinding, relaxing and playing with the kiddo (and the endless stream of laundry, of course). Someone suggested that I should start beekeeping and raising chickens, although both of those probably violate some sort of city ordinance and take more time than I’m probably willing to commit.
How do you get the fresh foods that you want? Do you rack up the miles as you go from store to store and farmer’s market to farmer’s market, or do you just settle for the local grocery because there’s so much else going on in your life?