Monday, May 22, 2006

shopping in the UK

I went to Sainsbury's today to stock up because I was down to butter and pasta--and since pasta requires cooking, that means I'm out of food. So I strolled down the aisles and I picked up a package of carrots and beans, thinking, for once I'll be eating healthy. But then I was instantly racked with panic and a sense of self-loathing because these veg had come from Kenya, and I have recently read an article about how African farms are using up all the water and African people are starving, etc, etc, just so we can get our fresh fruit and veg, and if I bought these carrots, someone was going to go without their tea. Then I realised if I didn't buy the veg, I would be throwing African workers out of a job, and the entire economy of Africa would collapse, thus giving way to the rise of a powerful and charismatic dictator who would befriend the United States by selling us cheap veg, thereby ruining more American jobs and destroying the hopes for a Free Africa. I'm exaggerating of course, but you see my point. It's important to remember that it's all interconnected! To assuage my guilt I bought some organic British grown tomatoes and some Clipper tea, which is fair trade.

For a clearer, musical version of what I'm talking about, see this website: This is a very excellent flash cartoon that points out you can't shop at Wal-Mart and then also complain when they ruin local economies. If you surf around this site, you'll also find a very excellent cartoon with the Founding Fathers rapping about why dey so cool.

(oh, that reminds me--I was worried that people here had lost all sense of history and perspective, when I read in a paper that the World Cup organisers has banned the English fans from chanting 'Two World Wars! One World Cup!' at this year's games, which are being held in Germany. Glad to see someone's got some perspective at least.)


Chris said...

I hear you about the trying to eat healthy and the econmic ramifactions it can have. Personally if push comes to shove I'm all about the fair trade, which after all insures that the farmers are being treated with some dignity and hopefully are providing better education to there families which in turn means their children can help the local community change and grow.

Laura said...

Yeah for fair trade tea and locally grown organic tomatos. You're doing your part!