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Posts Tagged ‘Simple equations’

Not having eggs in the house was really freaking me out. So, Friday I was determined to get to Union Square. Of course I didn’t.

The Union  Square Farmer’s Market is becoming like Shangri-La to me. I just can’t get there, no matter how much I try. Yet I can practically see it through the clouds, just 30 odd blocks down Madison.

Why didn’t I make it to the Farmer’s Market on Friday? I’d like to say meetings. But the real answer would be lack of boundaries. And an inability to prioritize myself. I said to K. something about how hard it was to get things done. She thought I was talking about work. I said that no, I was talking about buying eggs. She said yes, the way I was doing things was hard. “I don’t know how someone with a job like you is going to keep this up.”

But my question is, why do people feel like making less garbage and trying to have less impact on the planet is optional?

Today at the Inwood Market I asked the recycling guy what I could do with all my other plastics — not the ones the city recycles and not the #5s that I can take back to Whole Foods. He shrugged, “I dunno.”

“Why doesn’t the city recycle the rest?”

“A majority of people don’t even recycle what they city is set up to take.”

(I’m not surprised. Until recently I was one of them.)

“But what about the rest of us? We would recycle.”

He just shrugged again. “It doesn’t make economic sense. Why would the city invest in programs people aren’t going to use?”

Ok, I just don’t know what to do with a statement like that. If people ran traffic lights, would they just take them down. I thought the way it worked was that we make rules based on societal beliefs of right and wrong. Isn’t  poisoning the planet a wrong. It seems that it’s optional.

There are so many people in New York. Now that I have begun to try to stop making garbage, I have had to face just how much I make. I have bags and bags of plastic that I don’t know what to do with. I’m staring at a Hudson Valley Farmhouse pasta container; I bought the pasta at the a Farmer’s Market. Is that pasta I bought greener than the pack I used to buy at Whole Foods? The eggs are pastured. That’s better. It’s locally produced. That’s better. But I still have  piece of plastic that I don’t know what to do with.

“Can you reuse?” the recycle guy asked me.

“Sure,” I said. “But I have too much.”

On a happy note, the pasta was delicious. I believe that since it was made with pastured eggs, it was more nutritious too.  And, we bought an box of strawberries that were unbelievably yummy. I brought them to brunch today and everyone agreed that the quality was well beyond what we normally get in our supermarket flats. As M’s husband accurately described: “They taste like candy.”

And they did.

When I asked the farmer before I bought them, “Are these organic?”

“Nah,” he said.

“Do you spray them?”

“If I need to,” he said.

“Did you spray these?”

“Nah. But I used a nitrogen based fertilizer.”

That means the strawberries were fertilized with an industrially-produced compound. Industrial produced fertilizers have an impact on the environment in both the fossil fuel used to create them and the way their toxic run off messes with surrounding lakes and streams and the creatures that inhabit them. Philosophically I’m not supposed to buy that kind of produce, but the Farmer’s Market surrounding messes with my head — sort of lulls me into a pastoral denial.

The sun was shining. The park greenery was all around. I swear to god, the birds were chirping in the background. There was even a couple in the line in front of me — the classic young beautiful Manhattanites — finishing off the picture. Their toddler rode in the shopping cart, standing next to 21$ worth of grass fed milk (3 bottles) and the mom, blond, thin and delicate as spring Ramp carried the baby in a front pack. They were chit chatting with their neighbor about the dad’s tv show which had been moved from NBC to some cable channel – Lifetime maybe? Apparently it was doing wonders for their viewership. . They were buying strawberries — so they had to be safe, healthy and green, right?

I want a simple equation. Farmers Market equals safe, supermarket equals evil. Unfortunately it’s not that easy.

Why does it have to be so complicated?

The bottom line  —  I’m not always sure that what I buy at the Farmer’s Market is perfectly organic or free of pesticides, but it certainly tastes a whole lot better.

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