Monday, May 07, 2007

On the Road to Damascus

Mrs D. and I belong to a local Natural Foods Co-op that supports many philosophies of healthy eating. Most of the members are of one vegetarian flavor or another, but a large contingent, including myself, is interested in organic, local and sustainable agriculture. A large number of people are both, they are generally lacto-ovo ,L-O, vegetarians. Many of the L-O's when pushed will admit to being flexitarian, but just choose meat very infrequently, often for economic reasons. I enjoy talking with these folks as they walk the talk, are generally among the best informed, and don't have the same attitude as the vegans. During our visit to the co-op this past weekend, Paul, (a L-O who is over 80, looks 60 and acts 40), and I were engaged in casual conversation. The subjects ranged from the weather, to the availability of local produce , and our wives shopping habits. Our chatting was sprinkled with the occasional "yes dear' and "That looks fine dear", whilst tagging along behind our wives. As per usual there were a few members handing out samples of things they had prepared. The items of the day were a cookie, and a vegetable-bean casserole. The casserole smelled wonderful. It was made with beans, root vegetables, real raw cream, cheese made from raw milk, and a fragrant blend of seasonings. I took a sample with out hesitation. Paul took one too. It was really quite good, and I remarked as such to Paul. While we were standing there guessing the seasonings, a young, pale, and skinny, couple walked up to inquire about the contents of the casserole. Their look of interest turned to disgust, as they heard the description. They demurred the sample in faux politeness, and strode away horrified at the fat and animal content of this most tasty dish. Paul snorted and said "Kids, they'll never last with a diet of the crap they eat". I inquired as to what he meant. He told me to look in their basket, and see how much was shrink wrapped, low fat, and imported. They were not only damaging themselves but the planet from all the resources it took to process and transport that stuff. He went on to compare that to the sample we had just finished. Everything in the casserole was grown with in 100 miles of the co-op by people who cared about the land and what they produced. Next stop was the cookie sample. It was an oatmeal-honey-blueberry thing and I attempted to take a pass. Paul asked why. I mentioned that in general I tried to control my carbs. Cocking one eye brow, He asked if I ate meat. I said yes. Did I ever buy meat at a grocery store? Again, I say yes. "So you mean to tell me, that you think this cookie made from oats grown right up the road, real honey, berries and butter is gonna do you more harm than meat from a cow shot full of anti-biotics, hormones and god know what else?" He asks. I didn't have an answer. "Kids!" snorted Paul.

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