Is Progress Happening?

31 Oct

I want to know if people really are changing their habits. There have been several articles published this week about how Americans are demanding safer food and that the marketing tactics for 2010 will include simplier food. That many of the big producers are now cutting the number of ingredients in their products. Couple that with the number of farmers markets and the apparent size of the environmental movement and one would think that the world around us was revolutionizing and making great decisions for the enviroment and for our health.

But I am not convinced. I do not see this change happening in the people around me. I live in DC and I am not perfect. I do not buy as much as I could from the farmer’s market or local farmers. I leave my lights or tv on when I walk into another room and I don’t always recycle every piece of paper I come across. But my friends and family seem imperiable to these issues. I have friends that leave their lights on all day long, because they don’t pay for electric. Others that drive to dinner, when walking is an option, because they like their cars. And others that eat summer squashes in the fall – and I love fall squash!

I hope I am not being to critical. And more importantly, maybe I am not being critical enough of myself. I know that research states that peer pressure is a strong motivater in having better environmental practices. But I don’t want to be a nudge. I don’t want to bother my friends all of the time about these issues. I try to educate them when possible. Mostly, I talk about my compost box a lot or my weekly trips to the farmers market. Or I feel like I justify not serving enough meat when people come over for Shabbat meals.

If my friends that live in DC and are in their 20s are not willing to change their habits I am confused as to who is. I guess I could see young mothers trying to protect their families. And I understand that food costs are higher when you eat local, organic or fresh foods. I also now that I like cooking more than most people. If my friends and family are part of these changing trends then who is?

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Posted by on October 31, 2009 in Sustainable Agriculture


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