Monday, May 2, 2011

A Moratorium on Grocery Shopping (Or, We Have Enough, We Do)

Rachel here.

Every week we go grocery shopping at least once. If I'm being honest, it's often twice. And then there are days like yesterday when we go thrice in one day and not one of those trips involves a real, true grocery shop. Yesterday was exceptional and so, you know, generally fine, but it did leave me thinking about all of this time and money we spend at the grocery store.

Why do we go? Because we have no food. Every week we are simply completely devoid of things to eat, on the brink of starvation until one of us traipses the grocery store and carries home sustenance for the family.

Oh wait. That's a total lie. We have tons of food--stocked cupboard shelves and a refrigerator that utilizes its door space to the fullest extent. So this week John and I (M is exempted...her food situation ain't broke so we ain't fixin' it) are embarking on a challenge of sorts. We are going to make it through the week without a trip to the grocery store, come hell or high water or endless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I'm going to post our concoctions on Facebook each day. Tune in there to see how we're faring...and whether or not we end up eating M's baby food out of laziness.

On a more serious note, food waste is a pretty major deal in this world we all share. According to the EPA our country generates 34 million tons of food waste each year. 34 million tons. And this is the same country in which 1 in 4 kids don't have access to enough food. This disparity is frightening--terrifying, even. Our household is certainly guilty of tossing food, from scraps to whole forgotten and unopened items. This challenge we are embarking on this week, though certainly not going to solve the deeply problematic distribution of food in our country, is an effort, then, to become more conscious about our own habits of consumption. It is an invitation to remember that, perverse though it may be, we are lucky to have food AND food to throw away. It is an invitation to remember that we so often vote with our wallets in this country and so we need to open them thoughtfully. It is a moment of taking inventory, of considering how our footsteps impact the world outside our home and family table, of pausing to feel grateful for enough instead of longing for what we might find on a whim at the grocery store.

Will you join us? We'd love to hear from you on Facebook. Let's all take inventory and say thanks together.

1 comment:

  1. Right on, Rachel! I have so often thought the same thing about our household. We have a pantry stocked for the Apocolypse and surplus fridge and freezer in our basement - and we still find ourselves OUT OF FOOD. Good gracious. I stumbled upon (really, using StumbleUpon) this cool site: that encourages using the food in our homes whether it lurks in the fridge or the pantry or the back of a kitchen cabinet. This abundance we enjoy is surely a blessing, but making good use of what we have is an act of devotion to our community and our planet.