Sunday, March 30, 2008

A question on Cesar Chavez Day

At the little NE Portland, very liberal, Jobs with Justice church that Nia and I go to, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Cesar Chavez's death today (and the 81st anniversary of his birth tomorrow) and I was so inspired by his commitment to nonviolence.

The pastor giving the sermon was Rev. Hector Lopez, the husband of Rev. Lynne Lopez, who normally speaks. He gave the children each an orange and told them to be mindful of the farm workers who labor under terrible conditions so that our fruits and vegetables are affordable.

I know that it is hard for me to balance buying responsibly and being broke - especially lately with the price of gas and food going up significantly.

So if you are concerned and broke like me, how do you buy responsibly and still manage to pay the bills?

A couple I plan to try and implement are finding a good farmer's market this summer and meal planning (less produce wasted).



Rebecca said...

This has been a tough thing at our house too -- we've definitely been noticing the increase in price of gas and food.

We've (and by "we've" I mean my partner) have been baking our own bread and trying to get lots of veggies and fruit in our garden to harvest all year. Simple things like cooking at home, buying things like beans and lentils as dry goods, and having a garden will hopefully make a healthy difference.

We're still committed to buying organic and local produce whenever possible so those are the things we are still willing to pay more for. We now shop at multiple stores -- Trader Joe's for some basics, Costco for things in bulk (though maybe not fair labor), and New Seasons or Limbos for produce. It's amazing how much organic stuff you can get at Costco these days... butter, half and half, coffee, sugar, cereal.

I'm also trying to take the bus (or ideally, ride my bike) to work at least once a week. This alone has saved me about $20 per month. Plus it gives me time to plug into some music and settle my brain to and from work, which helps my mental state a lot.

What I really want now is some local, ethical eggs...

Kelsey said...

This is so interesting because I just talked to my mom about this as I made my Costco trip to go buy organic coffee for the office.

We have definitely been feeling the rising gas and food prices at my house, too. I live in Beaverton and commute to work so I spend around $35-$40 on gas every week. We've been talking about moving for two years now, so I'm hoping this summer we can make the move into the Portland area so I can (hopefully) bike to work more often and just generally save money and lessen my impact on the planet.

As for food, I'm just now starting to read labels and look for organic items. I consider my background pretty homogeneously American... and by that I mean I grew up eating a lot of processed food and never once thought about the workers producing what I was putting into my body. This summer my goal is to shop mostly at the farmer's markets around the area for produce. I have one not too far away in Beaverton or Hillsboro, but I LOVE the one downtown in the park blocks. I've also cut back dramatically on the amount of meat I keep in the house and I shop primarily at Trader Joe's and occasionally at Safeway for the things I can't find at TJ's. It's rough, especially in my and my partner's income bracket, and I've been struggling with money A LOT lately (as I'm sure most of you have).

Linda said...

Hey Rebecca - You just need some chickens in your yard!
Here you go!

You reminded me that gardening is on my list too. It is always nice to at least have tomatoes when summer comes around.