After work last night, Nam and I visited the new Whole Foods Market that recently opened 5 minutes from my workplace. It’s probably half the size of Whole Foods in Westlake, but still amazing-looking. I always love how everything looks so fresh and neatly shelved at this grocery supermarket. To be honest, I hardly ever shop at Whole Foods or even at a less-expensive place like Trader Joe’s because I simply can’t afford shopping there. However, after watching Food, Inc. a few nights ago, I have to say it changed my way of thinking about food shopping and consumption. Maybe the change is not as much as I wanted because I’m still living frugally, but enough to at least be aware of where my foods come from and the impact of corporate farming has on our health and eventually the world we live in.
Basically, traditional farming is almost non-existent. Those still left are constantly fighting to keep corporations from buying them out. Almost everything you see at a regular supermarket are owned by just 2-3 companies. These companies have a house full of lawyers on retainers to control the farmers and do everything they can think of to prevent anyone from breaking their contracts. The different brands and labels are there to fool you into thinking those yogurts or sauces came from different companies or farms. Animals, wheat, produces are genetically engineered and grown. You’ve heard of food-borne illness, mad cow disease, mad bird disease, and so on. Well, a big cause for those problems is traced back to corporate farming processes. That’s right: Mass-producing things in a short period of time in bad farming conditions equals people getting sick and dying.
One of my goals now is to be more conscious of what I buy (even if it’s a little more expensive) and where I buy them. Of course, all this doesn’t mean I will stop eating meat or fast food, or even stop shopping at Safeway and Albertsons. But at least there are many alternatives like farmers’ markets, your local grocery stores, or Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods where things weren’t made from only 2-3 companies (genetically) and organic food is dominantly available if I decide to shop there.