I normally refuse to enter Wal-Mart. I refer to our Wal-Mart by the not-even-close-to-politically-correct moniker "Crackhead Wal-Mart." There is no good reason for this except that Wal-Mart is always crowded with people not paying attention to where they are driving those squeaky carts, and it's always really dirty. I feel like I get "grocery store feet" even though I'm wearing my shoes. Wal-Mart is also lumped in with McDonalds as an "evil big corporation" (I am all about some quotation marks tonight).
I had good reasons for changing our diet this summer from convenience foodlike substances (a term stolen from Michael Pollan) to organic, local foods. I was passionate about our new diet. I shopped at a true local farmers' market where I bought real produce and meat from actual farmers, I made almost everything we ate from scratch, and we cut out most of the refined sugar. Then, school started, and life got a
However, we are feeling a leetle strapped for cash (just like everyone else in this recession/recovery), so I thought we could forgo organic this week. Cheap groceries, just this once. And where do cheap groceries come from? Of course! Wal-Mart!
It started almost as soon as we walked in the door, in the produce section. I stared at the prices for bags of apples. Did you know Wal-Mart has organics now? I belabored the decision; the organic apples were a dollar more than regular apples. I put the regular apples in the cart. And then I obsessed over the pesticides all through the specialty cheeses.
"Peej, can I switch these for the organic apples? Do you care?"
Everything else that went into the cart was organic if at all possible. I read all the labels. Rotel tomatoes have calcium chloride in them!! WHY??? Can't I just have my mexican style canned tomatoes with no preservatives?
We ended up probably spending more than we would have spent at Earth Fare. I left Wal-Mart feeling like I had committed a moral crime, like a hit-and-run or something. What had I done to my carbon footprint? How had I injured the local farmers? It was a terrible feeling. I am complacent no more.
So, thank you, Wal-Mart, for reminding me of all the reasons that I love Earth Fare.