The other day I overheard two coworkers discussing the cost of bananas. They were dumbfounded by the fact that organic bananas were one third again as expensive as conventional…and they were discussing the incredibly low prices at a discount store as compared to the regular supermarket. Both agreed that they’d go to get the cheapest bananas that evening: As one stated, “Bananas are bananas!”
I of course, walking by, kept my mouth shut…as too often I do. Afraid to speak up for what I think and feel. Afraid to be wrong. Afraid that I won’t have the facts prepared to back my opinions. Afraid that people would think I was a hypocrite, because to be honest, I’d just purchased bananas at that same discount store the prior week. Afraid that people will think that I am the difficult/crazy “tree hugger.”
But I knew…All bananas are not created equal. There are dire consequences building exponentially from our use of pesticides in food production, from our insistence on creating a monoculture by not only planting only one type of plant on each farm but limiting that even further to only one species of that plant. These consequences affect not only the consumer, but also the environments in which these plants are grown as well as the workers instrumental in their growth and distribution.
Per What’s on my Food: Twelve pesticide residues have been found to be present on conventional bananas by the USDA Pesticide Data Program-many with known carcinogenic properties as well as hormone disruptors and neurotoxins. We can make a difference though. In the book What Are People For? ,Wendell Berry argues that “eating is a political act”. We vote with our dollar every day…is it really worth voting for conventional produce to save 20 cents a pound?? Isn’t the cost to the environment, the workers, and our health going to tally up to a whole lot more than that??
I believe so…and I should have spoken up at the time and on every other occasion where my heart prompted me to do so. Despite my fear of being wrong. Despite my fear that I won’t have the facts prepared to back my opinions. Despite my fear that people would think I was a hypocrite–no one is perfect–least of all me. Despite my fear that people will think that I am the difficult/crazy “tree hugger.”
“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?” ~~ Robert Redford
“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” ~~ Albert Einstein
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~~ Native American Proverb
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.” ~~ E B White
“We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.” ~~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Today and every day: I wish to take a stand for Mother Earth. Won’t you join me?
And I am proud to be a tree hugger!
Further resources on bananas:
Why Bananas are a Parable For Our Times – Huffington Post
I am participating in Jamie Ridler’s Wishcasting Wednesdays.
Today’s question: What do you wish to take a stand for?