A Damned Fool?

img_4122Yesterday, when I was in the grocery store, I passed a display of organic milk—Horizon, I think—and on the cooler there was a sign that advertized the price—$3.79 for a half gallon. An old man was looking at the milk and the price, and as I passed, he shook his head and said, “$3.79 for a half gallon of milk.”

It just so happened that I was carrying a half gallon of Moo Milk. I held it up and said, “$3.99 a half gallon.”

The old man’s expression suggested that he thought I was a damned fool to pay so much for milk, but he didn’t say anything. He just shook his head again and walked away.

Sometimes I wonder if he is right. Am I a damned fool to pay so much for milk and other organic food, especially when we live on such a modest budget and must be very careful with our money? Even Clif wonders, from time to time, if organic food is worth it.

But then I think of the land and the water and all the poison that is dumped on food when crops are grown the conventional way. I think of the genetically modified crops that will tolerate ever more poison and the insects that continue to become resistant to the ongoing onslaught of pesticides. I think of that poison coursing through our bodies, affecting us in ways that might not be apparent until we reach middle age or older. I think of our children and how vulnerable their growing bodies are. As someone who has had cancer—3 years this August—I am not idly asking these questions. Cancer might be natural—there is indication that even dinosaurs had cancer—but it is also true that there are substances that promote cancer. Tobacco and smoking readily come to mind, but there are many other things as well.

I realize that food is only one piece of the puzzle—smoke and refuse from our factories also play their part. But food is something we can control, and indeed it is something we should control. I certainly understand that not everyone can afford organic food all the time. (I put myself in this category.) It is expensive, and I wish the government would be as generous with organic farmers as it is with the mega farms that produce food grown with pesticides and herbicides. But they are not, and organic farmers must struggle to make a profit. Hence the high prices.

Nevertheless, despite our modest budget, I will continue to buy as much organic food as I can, and that includes Moo-Milk. I might be a damned fool, but I just can’t stand the thought of all those harmful chemicals going into my body.

4 thoughts on “A Damned Fool?”

  1. I really recommend the “Betting the Farm” documentary. When you buy organic MOO milk also supporting a better livelihood for Maine’s struggling small dairy farmers. The farmers that started MOO were dropped from bigger corporate Hood dairy’s route because they lived in too far-flung locations. So MOO has created a new sustainable market for them. And it’s delicious! And local. I never buy Horizon, as it is owned by corporate behemoth Dean Foods: http://www.cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/FarmID_134.html. They’re notorious for not giving their organic cows adequate access to pasture. A very industrial model. Great post!

    1. Thanks, Laura! I’ve been wanting to see “Betting the Farm” for some time, now. I’ll see if I can get it through interlibrary loan.

  2. I’m with you. Most of our money goes toward our food and has for 40 years, and I think that’s the way it should be. Vitamins are also costly, but I’ve always figured it is less than a night in a hospital. People scrimp on good food and then waste money on stuff I don’t think is important at all. We get one shot at this life and I’ll do all I can to make it a good life. If I do get sick, at least I won’t look back and say, if only…
    I don’t buy organic milk but local, raw milk right from the farm.

    1. Yes, indeed, Nan! I especially like your comment: “If I do get sick, at least I won’t look back and say, if only…”

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