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JimLeff: Ranting About Locavore/Organic/Eco Sanctimony

Melanie Wong | Sep 3, 201309:16 PM

". . . So, sorry, sanctimonious wellness strivers. Your bubble is illusory. You will more than likely get cancer, anyway. You're not shielded. You're not elite. You overpay for smug delusion.

But you know what? I myself buy organic when I can (especially with concentrated foods like juices and butters). And I try to buy local when I can. And I even shop at Whole Foods sometimes (for sale-priced produce and a few brands I can't find elsewhere, e.g. Taste Nirvana coconut water). But I don't do so with a prissy sense of elevation. I don't drink the (organic, fair-trade) Kool-Aid. Chris Hayes asked about a middle path, and, for me, that involves stripping away the sanctimony, obsession, and delusion.

I don't delude myself about a bubble of purity and wellness - about transcending the squalor of plebeian existence. I just eat as healthily as I can afford to. That's it! I go organic and local when I can, astutely accepting the reality that I'm paying up a steep curve of declining results for the luxury of perhaps doing a scant notch better for myself. All with the wry understanding that I'll likely be run over by a bus on the way home.

Above all, be real. You can't be squeaky clean. You're neither virtuous nor pure. Purchasing fair trade coffee doesn't right your myriad eco wrongs, and organic cotton fiber clothing will not elevate you. And neither will a conventional hamburger and fries nor a slice of corporate white bread defile you. You come pre-defiled, and to imagine otherwise is to be an entitled, rich, narcissistic ninny.

No matter what, chemicals will keep pouring into you (breathe much?). A bowlful of Rice Krispies with milk from Stupid Farms in Ohio won't make the slightest diff. But, if you can, sure, by all means, do your best. Favor the organic; favor the local, favor fresh in-season (lowercase) whole foods. Just don't make it a religion, be grateful you can afford the capricious luxury, and every once in a while send a check to help support those who'd be deliriously grateful for a box of Oreos. Because actual hunger is where the real problem lies, and where our money can do the most good. "

Edited to add: The above is an excerpt.

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