Food Inc.

I can’t stop thinking about Food Inc.

Esteban and I watched it about a month ago and I haven’t been quite the same since.

This afternoon I ran to our local Cub Foods to buy some barbecueables. “Grab us some turkey burgers,” Esteban said. “And white onions, some buns, and a couple of tomatoes.”

A month ago, this would have been an easy task. But today I found myself staring at the cellophane-wrapped ground turkey and wondering whether those birds had been raised inside a hot, dark, crowded pole barn. Of course they had. How else could their meat cost $1.99 a pound?

In the end, I passed up the poultry in favor of some grass-fed beef from a local farm. It cost $6.99 a pound, but I didn’t feel as guilty about the animals’ lives.

Still, my purchase left me with a quandary: I don’t eat beef.

So I headed to the “natural foods” section to buy some veggie burgers. Then I remembered the segment in Food, Inc. about the soybean growers who said they were being bullied by Monsanto. None of my favorite products said “non-GMO.” That meant they were 80 – 90% likely to contain genetically-modified Monsanto beans. Sigh.

In the end, I settled for a portabella mushroom cap.

It’s amazing how much the world has changed in just a couple of generations. When my dad was a boy, he would occasionally be sent out back to catch and butcher a chicken. Two generations later, some children can’t tell the difference between a tomato and a potato.

Who would have imagined that eating healthfully — and ethically — could become so complicated?

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