Tho other day, I gave up.
Not “gave up” like I’m going to find the nearest train depot, step onto the tracks, spread my arms out like I’m making a snow angel in the air and wait for the 5:15 to carry me to a spiritual world.
Gave up on trying to save the world from itself, one cup of coffee, tomato, bagel, slice of devil's food cake or any other foodstuff at a time. Why? The other day in my firstname.lastname@example.org account there was a note from change.org, one of a myriad of “change the world the way you see it” kind of places allegedly doing good by alerting us of bad practices by businesses.
Let it be known this is no disparagement, as they do good. But this note? I won’t go through the whole note, kind of pointless. I am sure they have altruistic goals for their missive, but they decided to attack Trader Joe’s today.
Say what? Trader Joe’s? Not the same wholesome chain of small grocery stores giving us a plethora of opportunities to buy healthy goods without having to sacrifice our youngest child or a nearby virgin? That Trader Joe’s?
Yep. Same one.
What did Trader Joe’s do to get on the same list as British Petroleum? They are selling “slave tomatoes” or tomatoes picked by those who are indentured servants to the tomato-picking trade.
That’s when I gave up. Not like I don’t care about getting fair trade produce or making sure people have the ability to get a fair wage for their working efforts, I believe in both. But, and this is a big but, who is to define a fair wage? No one wants indentured servitude, but we also don’t want five-dollar beefsteak tomatoes. One person may feel $55 an hour is not a fair wage, too low, for a member of United Auto Workers union (that’s their average wage including benefits). Other people may look at it and say “are you kidding? $55 bucks an hour to attached bolts to a chassis?
See what I mean.
I’m going to keep shopping at Trader Joe’s. I probably will not buy tomatoes… only because I grow my own plum tomatoes, blender them and freeze them for sauce. In fact, here’s an amazing recipe for pasta sauce courtesy of Rick Regalado (look him up on Facebook too, he's a hell of a chef).
You can only believe what you want to believe. Line-caught tuna? Sure, I’ll buy it. I can believe it. Bananas cut down by well-fed and well-paid Costa Ricans? Probably not if I can get them as cheap as 39¢ a pound… pr 29¢ each at Trader Joe's (BTW, who doesn't love the option of buying a green, yellow and spotted yellow banana at the same time).
Free-range pig? If you say it, it better be or I’ll toss you, alive, into a sty of starving pigs. Free-range pigs is one of my biggest meat angst issues as pigs are too smart to be treated like they currently are on industrial farms.
So, I gave up. Bon appetit.