Now that the veil has been lifted and we are beginning to see the food industry for what it really is, the question now becomes… What are we going to do about it? Here are three ways to vote with your dollar.
Like most things in this world, the task often seems too great, and we often feel just too small to make a difference. But fortunately when it comes to the food we eat, we CAN make an impact. While most of us do not have an intention to play a role politically by sending letters to our congressman or by protesting in a picket line, we may be willing to change the way we spend our money. This very concept is called voting with our dollar. It is the idea that everything we spend money on, we are voting for. Therefore, I have put together 3 easy steps to taking action and becoming an active participant in changing our world.
#1 Support the Little Guy
While I know we all LOVE the convenience of the supermarket, we must realize that it is the little guys that have the power to change our system. Small local markets and Co-ops are typically run by people who actually CARE and they need our HELP! Every time a large corporate chain like Walmart comes into town, another few dozen stores close. That is because we are giving into convenience rather than purchasing from those companies that provide quality and integrity. This is not right. Furthermore, it is not only the small business that you are supporting, but it is also the local, smaller farmers and the environment. Small farms are failing just as quickly due to this process, as the large corporate markets will not purchase from the small farms. This forces them to go the conventional mono-culture route, which we absolutely do not want. Therefore, drive the extra mile, make a couple more trips, and support your neighborhood local markets.
Could you really imagine a world without the love and charm of small, local and boutique businesses anyways?
#2 Shop at the Farmers Market
Why allow the middle man to take advantage of our farmers? Take action and put your money in the local farmers market. Not only are you ensuring that your farmers will make it another season, you will also ensure that you are getting what you are paying for. By purchasing direct, you can be guaranteed that you are receiving 100% organic and sustainable produce whose quality has not been compromised, because no matter how convincing the pasture-like photos and labels are on your larger brand foods, it should not hide the fact that most of them are coming from pesticide-laden fields and feedlots ridden with illness, abuse and antibiotics.
Besides, I like to extend gratitude to those who are actually feeding and nourishing me and my family. Remember to always say Thank You!
#3 Choose Quality over Price
I know that in this economy it is not easy to let go of your funds, but think of this as your investment. Your investment in your health, your future and the state of this world. While we may not have much control over the actions of the industry directly, we do have control over what we spend money on. This concept is far more powerful than you might think. Every time you purchase a product you are voting for its very presence. Without your vote, it will not be profitable to make. Therefore, you must realize that these industries do not care about ruining our food and environment per se, they just care about making money, and the fact is that we are voting for cheap, unhealthy food. So take this seriously and really think about every purchase you make. Even if it is a few more dollars is it not worth sending the message to the corporations and government that this is the product that we want and believe in? Believe me, if no one bought conventionally raised cows or high fructose corn syrup soda, do you really think they would keep producing it?
I think that we all can feel better about ourselves and our role as a protector of this earth and our community by spending our money with those who have the same values as ourselves. We all want the world to change, we all need the support, so take action and put your money where your mouth is. It can often be as simple as that.