Tags: consumerism

firesea: self-portrait

100 miles

"When the average North American sits down to eat, each ingredient has typically travelled at least 1,500 miles—call it "the SUV diet." On the first day of spring, 2005, Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon chose to confront this unsettling statistic with a simple experiment. For one year, they would buy or gather their food and drink from within 100 miles of their apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia."

This spawned the movement/book/blog The 100-Mile Diet. I love the idea of it, though I doubt I'll be able to put it into any kind of practice for a while. We try to buy from farmers' markets when we can, and given a choice between "northwest-grown" and elsewhere-grown at the grocery I'll choose the NW version, but other than that I cringe a bit to think that everything I eat has probably traveled farther than I have in the last year.

Anyway. One thing they've been commenting on is that a local diet - i.e., eating things only when they're in season - promotes a style of eating where you eat a few things nonstop for a few weeks, then change to a few new things nonstop, and so on. And I realized - my natural eating patterns follow this style exactly. I will want one or two things all the time for a week or two, and then suddenly get sick of them and search around for something new. This wreaks havoc with a normal modern diet, where we try to have the same staples on hand year round (which also makes shopping far simpler). But looked at from the evolutionary perspective of eating things as they are in season, it makes complete sense.
firesea: self-portrait

Good grief

So, as any reasonable geek in my situation would do, I've been combing the net for early pregnancy information over the last few days.

What I find horrifying - though I suppose I shouldn't find it surprising - is the sheer amount of Stuff that people are trying to convince me to buy now now NOW. Never mind that I'm not exactly bursting out of my clothes yet, let alone needing to furnish a nursery! Looking ahead and being prepared is all well and good, but these people are trying to get me to start buying baby blankets and stuffed animals as soon as I get that second line on the pee stick. (No, seriously! Never mind that it's about the size of a pea and doesn't even have a heartbeat yet!)

And, of course, it's all masked in the language of "pamper yourself", "you deserve it", "of course you want this, it's okay to indulge". All the modern advertising language that I despise, but have learned to tune out for most things. But as I enter into a new arena of products, the slimy brainwashing hard sell hits me like a mack truck to the forebrain.

Since when, exactly, does pampering myself involve spending money I don't have to spare on stuff I don't yet need?

To whom it may concern - I'm not planning on buying anything for the baby until at least May. Of course I recognize that may change between now and then, but for now at least, leave me alone in my happy little anti-consumerist bubble? Please?