Buying Green

Maegan Kabel, Photo Editor

Organic. Grain-fed. Free range. No hormones.
These are the labels I look for when I go grocery shopping. I nag my mom to go up to Whole Foods just so I can wander around, trying to find some neat items for my lunch the next week.
I’m like a kid in a candy store.
That is, if candy were made with organic sugar, no animal products and had options like soy and gluten-free.
As teenagers, we typically eat just about anything that’s put in front of us. Many don’t think about what is actually in that Big Mac and side of fries, or what kinds of weird chemicals are put into the bag of chips.
Don’t get me wrong, I come home and eat potato chips and make Sonic runs just like other people.
But it’s also important to realize what is in what we are eating.
To coin a term used by a book I recently read, Get Real, we need to think about what makes up these “frankenfoods.”
Buying organic and local foods is essential to helping the environment as well as ourselves.
You know those antibiotic-resistant viruses doctors and scientists talk about that are becoming increasingly immune to all of our medicine?
The overuse of antibiotics is a large contributor to this.
Organic foods often don’t have hormones, antibiotics or pesticides.
Foods grown in various parts of the country have to be flown to their destination, and then transported by trucks to the stores. Those plastic bottles of milk at the store have a larger carbon footprint than you probably think.
Milk is a product that can easily be obtained locally. Whole Foods and Price Chopper carry milk in glass bottles from two dairy farms in Kansas.
And packaging isn’t the only upside to that. I don’t particularly like milk, but, let me tell you, milk in glass bottles tastes better than the milk held in plastic jugs.
Foods seen at Whole Foods look different than what is usually thought of being in a grocery store.
Carrots have big bushy tops on them.
Apples are different colors of red and yellow, but they don’t shine. They also aren’t much larger than your fist.
Cereal comes in 100 percent reused cardboard boxes.
There are bins of whole-sale nuts on display, similar to how candy is sold in bulk in candy stores.
The major complaint of many (my mom included) about buying these types of foods and shopping at stores such as Whole Foods are the prices.
These foods are just too expensive.
But, then, why are foods that are better for people and the environment so expensive?
Because people are spending more money on the other foods — the frankenfoods.
If large stores and brands saw that majority of the people were buying organic food, then maybe they’d consider switching their product methods to include these better foods.
But, until then, the better food will remain at the higher price.
It’s up to the consumer to save the food industry and show them what they need to be selling.