Why I Drink Herbal Tea and Buy Organic   Leave a comment


So, about five months ago my diet radically changed. I went from living off of the cheapest sandwiches I could make and various kinds of pizza to living mostly gluten free, buying organic, and drinking herbal tea on a regular basis. I pay about five dollars per dozen eggs, and I drink almond milk rather than the kind that comes from cows. Oh, and I make brownies using black beans

So, why did I make these changes?

The first reason was for health. I don’t see any point in eating pizza every day in twenties so that by my fifties I can’t have any salt. The way I was eating was going to leave me dead well before I needed to be, so I might as well change my diet now and save myself a more painful transition later. This has paid off in a big way. Not only am I following a diet that is theoretically healthier, but I can feel the difference. I have more energy, I can concentrate better, and I get a headache when I eat like I used to.

The second reason I made these changes was my dissatisfaction with the food industry in the United States. As I’ve mentioned before, I have lived several months in Morocco. While I was there, one of the things I learned was that the way we do food stinks. I actually liked vegetables in Morocco. I ate reasonably fresh bread daily, and it was fantastic. There’s no reason that Walmart needs to be filled with the over processed junk that most people have shoved down their throats.  This has also paid off. The healthy food that I’m eating now tastes at least as good as the junk I used to eat. Remember those black bean brownies? They taste like actual brownies. I’ve also discovered the magical deliciousness of garlic, vinegar, onions, and coconut oil. The only thing I really ever miss is fast food cheese burgers, and I really don’t know how to explain that.

Beyond that, like any good capitalist, I hated monopolies. What exists in the dairy and meat industries is, practically speaking a monopoly. The meat packing plants that forced their workers into the worst conditions and the seed producers who sued the most small farmers have cornered most of the market.

And that leads me to the third reason I changed my diet to avoid most of the big food companies. They do not have ethical business practices. I am fortunate enough to be in a position that I do not need to rely upon the cheapest groceries I can find, so I am taking my money elsewhere. Obviously, one consumer can’t change much by themselves, but I hope that if enough people vote with their feet and move to progressively better companies (because the “organic” label doesn’t mean ethical or healthy, it just gives you better odds), economies of scale will drive down the costs for those companies. I must not be alone in this, since I now shop at a store that opened less than a year ago and carries all sorts of health food.

After all those reasons, animal rights and environmental concerns are the last reasons I changed the kind of food I consumed. I don’t accord chickens a great deal of dignity in my worldview, but I do think God wants people to be better stewards of his creation than to keep his creatures in such tiny cages that their legs start growing around the wire.

So that’s why I changed my diet. And the stuff with animals and the environment is only just on my radar (which is probably to my discredit). My reasons don’t feel like the reasons of a comically liberal person (mostly taste, health, and business ethics), but I do conform to the stereotype.

So, am I weird and irrational, or is the stereotype?

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Posted 06/11/2012 by reluctantliberal in Health/Nutrition

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