Friday, November 19, 2010


        My shopping expedition: a complete bust.

What happened??  After pondering my "rules" and setting what I thought was a generous budget of $50, I decided against traveling to Freddy's because it's about 15 miles away, as opposed to 1 mile for my local grocery store and then 2 miles for Trader Joe's.  Transportation via car = greenhouse gasses.  So...

Stop #1: At my beautifully maintained, locally-owned and operated grocery store: only a few items are marked for point of origin, even the produce in the organic section.  I compared a few items: price for organic produce is generally 3X non-organic produce, some of which IS labeled: Grown in Mexico or USA or Northwest.  Sigh.  I bought a northwest grown onion, plus a USA grown sweet potato and cilantro.

On to TJ's: Much more affordable organic fare, but next to nothing is labeled with its origins.  It's all distributed through CA, but that doesn't mean it was grown there.  In fact, the only choice I could make in terms of point of origin was:  Organic walnut halves (from Uzbekistan) OR California Walnut Halves.  I chose the latter, because I figure that walnuts grow in shells on trees, so the organic element probably isn't as important as it would be on row crops, and clearly the shipping energy impacts would be much less from CA than from Uzbekistan.  Reasonable logic or irresponsible leap toward nationalistic pride? 
And it's this kind of quandary that makes shopping with compassion such a minefield. 

Here's my original list, coded like so:
   * =  fit all of my criteria
   # = fit at least one of my criteria.
   V = vegetarian.  wasn't in my criteria, but helps the planet and all beings

# organic black beans V
# sweet potato V
# onion V
cilantro V
almond flour V
# walnut halves V
green chilis V
frozen dinners V
pumpkin butter V
mache V
greek yogurt V
reduced fat celtic cheddar V 
almond milk V
can of cat food
pot stickers
TOTAL: $38.
Items on my list that I didn't purchase:
Thin bars (no way to know where all those ingredients came from - ditched 'em)
salami (decided that it didn't fit my criteria at all!)

But, wait, you say:  There aren't any items with stars.  What??  Indeed:  I bought absolutely no items that fit all my criteria. 


Must sit and ponder what to do next to get me closer to my goal. 


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