More and more each day, many families are becoming sceptical about the possible threats of GMO foods and are turning to organic food. In this post, I will be describing the food buying patterns in my family and how we could contribute more to food sustainability by showing what my father brings from his business, and what we buy in the supermarket and local markets.
First of all, my father has been working with his brothers and family in the family business since he got out of university. This business was set up by my grandfather and produces Spanish traditional pork meat products. Two years ago, my family moved to Canada to open a new branch of the business and now most of our diet relies on pork meat which my father buys from the slaughter houses that sell the meat to the business. According to sustainable.org: “An estimated 80 percent of all US feedlot cattle are injected with hormones to make them grow faster.” Also, my father once told me that: “60% of the pigs in North America have been injected either with hormones or antibiotics in order to increase their size and strength.” This was something that worried all of my family and my father, and he decided to track down and visit the farms where the pigs came from to ensure that nothing had been injected into the pigs. Luckily for us, everything came out very well and we were now sure that there were no hormones in the meat. In order to contribute more to the economy of this kind of food, I believe we could do the same for cow meat which we currently buy at the supermarket. I believe that the way that my father provides our family with meat is a very good one because it ensures that a great part of our diet is organic and safe.
Secondly, a big part of what is eaten in my house comes from the supermarket. Here is where we buy nearly everything that we eat on a daily basis, from bread to fish and biscuits. My mother, in an attempt to save as much money as possible, searches through the products trying to look for special offers. In winter, the supermarket is also the place where we buy our fruits and vegetables due to their fairly low price in comparison to local markets. What scares me the most about this is that according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association: “75% of all processed foods in the U.S. contain at least one genetically modified ingredient.” This statement personally horrifies me as I have never liked foods that have been genetically modified. In order to become more sustainable I suggested to my parents to buy the organic fruit and vegetables offered in the supermarket, but nothing could be done as they said that they were too expensive. To close this idea, I believe that the way my family buys in the supermarket is not the best because we buy one product or another depending on its price, so, probably most of what we eat contains GMOs.
Finally, during the seasons when it is not very cold, my parents buy all of our fruit and vegetables from the local market located in Jean-Talon. Here, many farmers from Quebec meet and sell what they have been planting during the year, and there are stickers on the products which ensure you that these are all organic. Personally, it is very comforting to know that what I am eating is actually good for my health, and this market ensures me that everything is good. Also, there is something that we really like about this market and it is the enormous range of fruits and vegetables from which we can choose. We are not restricted like in a supermarket where we have to buy whatever is offered. The only problem with this market is that during the winter, everything becomes three times more expensive than in other seasons, which means we won’t go there because my parents are not willing to pay that price. According to marketplace.org a tomato patch which you grow in your own house can have a return on investment of: “250 to 1 or 25,000 percent.” So, I recently suggested to my parents that in order to be more sustainable and save money, we could try to grow some of our vegetables in our backyard and they accepted to do so. This means we will be able to be more sustainable with our own food in addition to buying from local markets.
To conclude, I have shown how my family buys what we eat, and how we could become more sustainable with our food by explaining what we buy from supermarkets, local markets and what my father brings from his business. My family is just one example of the many families that try to eat healthy and that wants to know what we are eating.
-Miguel Angel Redondo Cruselles