Life is made up of lots and lots of little decisions and a few big ones, right?
One of my “big” decisions was trying to take care of the planet, the planet that I now think of as “creation.” I can’t pinpoint when I made this decision. Environmental consciousness was always part of my life. I grew up in a home where my parents actually made their own granola. It doesn’t get any more granola than that, people. My parents were active recyclers in the seventies. I imagine this is like folks who had parents who were church-going, Jesus-loving Christians. You don’t really know when you got to know God, you just know Him. But I digress. Sort of.
Taking care of the planet had its grandiose moments in my life.
My life’s ambition when I was 24 and in the Peace Corps, serving as an Environmental Education volunteer, was to
work for be in charge of the United Nations Environmental Programme. Embarassing, but true. I wanted to save the world from itself. I was convinced I could do so. I even had a tattoo of the earth on my back. (Still there, yes.)
Fast forward to today, and I am slightly more realistic about what I can accomplish. I do all the obvious things: I try to consume less, generally speaking; I recycle, we don’t use hardly any paper products in our home; we use only home-made and natural cleaners; I usually use my awesome pink metal coffee cup for beverages on the go; I remember to bring my canvas-esque bags to the grocery store so I don’t use more plastic bags. Etc.
There are also lots of things I do that are still rotten. I still drive, a lot. I need to do so for my job, but it still sucks. I eat meat. A lot of meat. I still occasionally buy plastic water bottles, even though I am plauged with guilt when I do. I am a ditz, and leave lights on willy-nilly. I don’t buy anything in bulk. We send the children to school with those dreadful little individually-wrapped bags of baby carrots. Etc.
And I eat Wheat Thins. Wheat Thins, you are so delicious. I love you with goat cheese. I love you with dry salami. I love you straight out of the box. I like you dipped in Alouette. Oh, Wheat Thins. You are so tasty.
But Wheat Thins, you are made with high fructose corn syrup (and corn syrup). Making high fructose corn syrup is bad for creation and also not so good for eating.* And Wheat Thins, I just bought you in a special TWO POUND EIGHT OUNCE box. This may have been my moment of clarity, Wheat Thins, where I can finally admit I have a problem.
I think this might be my last hurrah with you, Wheat Thins. After consuming more than two pounds of you, I think I might be able to say goodbye. There is nothing as tasty as you, really, there isn’t. But I don’t think you can change who you are, my high fructose corn syrupy friend.
We had a lot of good times, Wheat Thins. I will always think of you with fondness.
*If you need convincing on this, read “The Omnivore’s Dilemna” by Michael Pollan.