When visiting DC with my family we found ourselves browsing around the Museum of Natural History at lunch time. I typically don’t prefer cafes connected to large tourist attractions, but unfortunately the café in the museum was our only option in the area so we ate there.
As we entered the line to go in, I was greeted by some running TV screens which stated that the cafeteria used locally grown ingredients. When we got inside I noticed that they were selling organic fruit. Although I don’t consider organic the end all and be all when it comes to my produce selection, and the price was pretty hefty, I did take the offering as a good sign.
Then we got to the drink station. Hello Coke! There was water available under the lemonade (although I’d paid almost $3 for the cup) and some unsweetened iced tea (not brewed) in the fountain so at least there were a couple options.
I complained to my family how frustrating it is that establishments boast about local and organic and yet sell out to soda companies. After my venting, I started to think about why this upset me so much.
Well, we talked a week or so ago about how in-your-face soda is, so that was one thing. The other thing was that they seemed to be proud of their healthy, environmentally friendly food practices, but ignored that when it came to beverages. Then I came back to the thought – Well, at least they are trying.
This then brought me to the question – Is trying enough?
I ask myself this question often when it comes to my food choices. I’m definitely changing – making more environmentally friendly choices, increasing my awareness about where my food comes from and what processes it goes through, and eliminating fake foods from my diet.
I am far from perfect, however. Although, I’m getting closer I doubt I will ever get to the point where every piece of beef I put in my mouth is grass fed and every piece of produce I consume is grown under ideal farming practices. I do see stopping at a famous or historic, local burger joint during my travels in my future from time to time.
It is easy to blame some of this on our society. In order for everyone to make these changes our society and the foods we are offered, say, when we are out to eat need to change too. I take full responsibility for my own actions, but if there is no place around when you are traveling that sells the good stuff you are used to buying at home you are kind of out of luck. While you certainly don’t have to eat fast food, there are times you are forced to make exceptions.
So then I consider if I feel that trying is enough for me, why do I feel the need to be so critical of eating establishments who are not perfect, but trying as well? That doesn’t seem fair.
I’m not always this critical. Usually if there is a healthy option I’m happy. However, as my knowledge grows and I strive to change my diet I find the temptation to be overly critical grows stronger as well.
Despite my attempts to give myself and the places I eat a break, I still wonder if trying is enough. In some cases I think it is. Small changes by many people can make a huge difference. However, if we always use little excuses like – well, I really like that even though it is a fake food or I’m too busy to make my own food – then we aren’t facilitating the changes that need to happen as a society which will result in the consumption of more nourishing, whole foods that we can get anywhere and everywhere.
So right now, I do think trying is enough, but long-term I wonder if I’ll ever reach perfection in this area or if that is even what I’m striving for.
Do you think trying is enough?