Saturday, October 13, 2012

Let the Rant Begin

Tonight, after a tired and slightly drained afternoon, I was surprised to find gratefulness emerge as I drove down the highway to buy groceries. I could rant endlessly about how cars, and roads, and highways, and gasoline are destroying our world, but tonight I just felt grateful. To live within reasonable driving distance of a co-op, and to have a vehicle to take me there. And then I thought, "May we see the beauty in what we create. May it not imprison us."

Once I heard a speaker, John Perkins, tell about bringing a shaman from the Amazon Rainforest to NYC. The shaman had never been outside of the rainforest, never seen a modern civilization. To ease his transition, Perkins decided to stop first at Central Park. To his surprise, when the shaman got out of the car he did not walk towards the trees, instead he crossed the street to a tall building and told Perkins, "You must fall in love with your cities."

I get that now.

This co-op is usually a bit hectic, but not on a Saturday night. At one point in my shopping I looked at my cart and realized, "This is going to be an expensive one." But I also knew I had the money to pay it.

One thing I love about the co-op is how, on some level at least, the food is already health screened. But today I reached for a frozen veggie burger on sale and read the first ingredient, "rice" and put it back. I had heard a few months ago from my friend concerns about the arsenic (carcinogen) level in rice, but I consciously decided to remain in the land of "ignorance is bliss" for a bit longer. Then the latest issue of Consumer Reports magazine came out and I read the article and could remain there no longer.

So now even in the land of healthy food I have to think twice. So many choices that were once the best ones, no longer are. For example, rice cakes were my ultimate healthy snack food. I would never choose to eat them at home (when I had other options) but for a snack away from home they were perfect. And then there is the rice milk for my cereal and....

"Human activities also add arsenic to the environment. They include burning coal, oil, gasoline and wood, mining, and the use of arsenic compounds as pesticides, herbicides and wood preservatives."

This is where I need to take a deep breath. This is where I connect dots that I have never heard Race for the Cure or any cancer group make. This is where I think of my mom, who loved rice, brown rice. And it's not just rice, it's apple juice and a system that separates what we put in with what we get out.

As I picked up my bags to exit the coop I saw a picture in a strange spot. I realized it was a silly photo of Vanilla Ice, and it was on the front of the ice machine


I laughed out loud.

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