Friday, April 12, 2013

The Dilemma of Having Choices: My First (and last?) Visit to Earth Fare

I shopped at a new grocery store this week called Earth Fare--one that carries mostly organic and high quality produce and products. This visit was inspired by the fact that I had an eye doctor appointment not far from the grocery and I had just gotten an amazing cookbook for my birthday from my kids called Sprouted Kitchen with all kinds of amazing recipes I wanted to try--many of them requiring organic, whole foods.

In addition, I had also attended an event this week that featured postmodern theologian Peter Rollins, urban organic farming and health proponent Laura Henderson of Growing Places Indy, and my friend, singer and song-writer, Liz Janes. They inspired me to think about what it means to live a more honest, healthy and grounded life in my community.

So this swirl of experiences came to a head this week when I visited Earth Fare. And then I felt this dilemma: the dilemma of having choices to shop at places like Earth Fare; to buy organic produce and be so particular about food.

I was well aware of my privilege as I shopped in this upscale grocery store and chose more expensive organic products (at least some--others, I couldn't bring myself to pay the price). And I felt the quandary, the friction of values between my love and pleasure in wholesome, clean foods and my awareness of the poor in my neighborhood who struggle to put food on their tables--much of which has been purchased by food stamps.

I also read a passage of Scripture this week that became another ingredient in this compost of experiences and reflections and it nudged me to consider how I might reconcile them--well, maybe.   

"God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants." (John 3:19-21)

The phrase that stood out to me was "come to the light." Those who do what is right...come to the light. 

As I have wallowed in this predicament of privilege and caring for the poor, what does it mean for me to come to the light? 

Long term, I sense that moving toward the light means working for the day when rich and poor alike will eat clean foods and live healthier lives. I also think that planning simple meals, not wasting food and not eating more than I need will help with with the dilemma of my daily choices. 

So, for me, this issue is far from resolved and I suspect that that is a good thing. Dilemmas serve a purpose; they get us to think and ask important questions; they keep our conscience active and sensitive to the things hidden in our hearts--the things that light exposes.