Recently Cherie needed something from the grocery store, so we stopped off at a Food Lion on the way back from delivering CSA shares. While she tracked down the thing she needed, I headed over to the produce section.
There are few things better than fresh asparagus, which is only available for about 8 weeks each year. We’re right in the middle of that season now, but here’s what Food Lion was selling to its customers.
These sad little spears came from Mexico. No doubt they were picked long ago, before being shrink wrapped and shipped off to Virginia and the rest of America. No doubt they were doused with poisons to kill asparagus beetles and weeds. This 12 ounce package of poison-soaked Mexican asparagus costs $2.99.
The asparagus folks get from our farm was likely picked that morning. It didn’t travel here from another country and it has never had any chemicals sprayed on it. A 12 ounce bundle costs $3.50.
There was no local or organic asparagus for sale in Food Lion.
But they did have this display near the check out line, offering HFCS-coated, artificially colored and flavored, chemical-laced, obesity-inducing, diabetes-inducing, GMO-grain candy masquerading as breakfast food and being marketed to children with cartoon characters and colorful packaging.
This is a fitting representation of our contemporary food culture.
Shaking my head.