Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fair Trade vs. Made in the USA

As I was washing and hulling my $1.38 a carton strawberries this evening, I actually thought about the illegal migrant worker that probably picked them. Thank you, presidential campaign, 2008. So, while this is produce that was, technically, "Made in the USA" as so many Fords with gun racks like to proclaim, why am I feeling all full up on guilt and yuckiness as well as my tasty, tasty berries?

I am finding it hard to figure out how we are supposed to live in this global-economy-green-as-you-can-be-erase-your-carbon-footprint-and-save-Darfur kind of world. It is as easy as the old paper or plastic debate. Plastic - even of you recycle it as a dirty-diaper-holder or trash can liner as we do - still end up in landfills. Paper, well, put my name on the list of people cutting Darryl Hannah out of her beloved trees. There seem to be no good choices.

Yes, I have switched some of my light bulbs to the fluorescent kind. I've switched them in the rooms in which I don't mind being reminded of grade school classrooms or doctor's offices. Yes, we recycle, just like every other good Bexley-ite. But not everything we could. Because that would mean composting and doesn't composting lead to methane production? You see what I'm getting at here?

Oh how I long for the blissful oblivion of my youth, where running the water while I brushed my teeth was not a crime that made my conscience see a scolding Al Gore in the mirror when I popped back up from spitting. Oh to eat from a paper plate, with - gasp - plastic utensils! Seriously, are picnics so 1989 or are they all just biodegradable now?

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