Friday, January 6, 2012

An Innocent Red Pepper?

This red pepper looks like a healthy, robust, delicious, innocent red pepper.  In reality it is an anxiety, stress inducing red pepper.

To explain we need to start at the beginning.  Since getting married I have been the queen of the kitchen.  Which means I have planned, cooked and bought the food for every meal in our house.  That includes packing lunches for both of us Monday-Friday.  Some people roll their eyes at this thinking I spoil my husband.  But really it works best for our household to have one cook in the kitchen.  It's easier for me to plan meals that share ingredients and to pack lunches that use whats on hand.  It saves on our fridge space and food bills.

I have to admit sometimes after I get home from work, cook dinner, clean up dinner, do other chores and get ready for the next day; packing lunches can be a monotonous, painful chore when I am just ready to collapse for the day.  Andy recognizes my amount of work and has decided on his own accord he wants to take some of the work off my plate by packing his own lunches.  To me this is a priceless gift.

Or so I thought. In addition to wanting to pack the lunches he wants to shop for the food.  So earlier this week we went to the grocery store together.  While in the produce department Andy was seduced by all the glowing, glossy, colorful, bright fruits and veggies.  You might be thinking what's wrong with this, its better than buying processed crap.  But everything he was picking up had been grown conventionally, out of season and thus shipped from somewhere south of Mexico.  So of course my insides were screaming as he picked each item up.

I thought he shared the exact same thoughts and beliefs as I did when it came to spending our food dollars.   I consciously make choices hoping to change market demands and the direction of our food system.  What I discovered was that he supports my choices, thinks they are spot on and believes in them in theory.  But when it comes to him making choices at the store he doesn't worry about it.  In the moment he wants what he wants.  This. drives. me. crazy.

So as he picked up each item I might have made remarks or shaken my head.  Of course this stressed him out and caused me anxiety about what was going into our cart.  In the moment I was wishing he promised to do the dishes every night instead of packing his lunches.  It seems that we have some distance to go before we are on the same page.  I do have to admit I still buy some conventionally grown or out of season items, I'm not perfect.  But many of my shopping habits have changed drastically.

A day later we talked about our stressful, anxiety ridden shopping experience.  Andy admitted to not practicing what he believes and agrees to work towards being more thoughtful in his shopping.  I agree that I have to chill out.  I don't want to be that crazy, crunchy lady that weirds people out.  My overall goal is to help incite change and prove its possible & cool to live a more sustainable life, not scare people away.


  1. ha! Too funny! My husband is the same way -- he is all about it, as long as it means dinner on a plate. If he had to go to the store, he'd have an anxiety attack, not know where to start, but a bag of chips and leave :)

  2. Nene,
    You crazy.
    But I love ya.

  3. Watch out for grapes from Chile. They love DDT and other harsh pesticides down there. After someone showed me an article in a magazine about it, I never bought another grape that came from Chile. In fact, I now grow my own.