By Heather O.
Although this is not a review of Michael Pollen’s book _The Omnivore’s Dilemma_, I highly recommend it. And I can guarantee that after reading it you will never, ever, give your child a chicken nugget again.
Lovely, organic, local (when available) produce is all snuggled together in happy harmony. The beautiful fish counter with at least 10 different varieties lies artfully arranged next to hormone and antiobiotic free beef and “free range” chicken. Even the lobsters, bobbing along the bottom of their tank, look content. Ok, well maybe the lobsters aren’t that content, and have just resigned themselves to their inevitable fate of being boiled to death by whomever thinks they look good, but my kid sure gets a kick out of looking at them.
This store is closed on Sundays and holidays, and the baggers will personally take your groceries to your car, no exceptions. I like all of those things. Like I said, it’s a happy place.
My dilemma? Happiness don’t come cheap.
Lately, we have been looking for ways to save a little more money each month, and of course, our food bill has to be examined. After two months of particularly high grocery bills, I finally bit the bullet and headed to the dark place.
Despite the happy faces plastered all over everything, Voldemart is not, in my opinion, a happy place at all. Still, I perservered, and truly got a lot more bang for my buck. There were no lobsters to look at though.
And the other cost of shopping at Walmart, besides all of the economic, global, environmental issues that everybody talks about ad naseum? The food simply just wasn’t all that good. Our wallet may have been happy, but my taste buds sure missed that high priced meat.
And therein lies the Momnivore’s Dilemma. How do you balance the need and desire to feed your family the best you can as well as the need to actually have money left over for, you know, electricity and shelter overhead?
We’re still working on this in our family, of course. We try to grow as many fresh vegetables as we can in our garden, and when summer hits, we try to frequent pick your own farms, etc. We buy the really expensive hormone free milk about every third grocery visit or so, and the breadmaking I’m doing about once a week these days has helped both our budget and our taste buds. Still, I constantly find myself saying, “We spent that much on FOOD?” and then suddenly, I’m in Walmart again, rejoicing that the peanutbutter there costs $1 less, and contemplating just how bad could it possibly be to feed my child ramon noodles for a month. I mean, so what if there is no identifiably natural ingredient on the list of a thousand chemicals. One whole serving costs 13 cents!
Of course, when my thinking gets to that point, I want to run screaming from the store and throw myself in some huge bed of organic lettuce and let the nature seep back into me. Doesn’t everybody feel that way?
Tell me how you handle the Momnivore’s Dilemma.
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