Thursday, August 18, 2011

on attitude

Where to begin...

I was thinking about the whole beef recall again. I was talking to Sean last night about my attitude towards the average consumer. The people to blame are the manufacturers. The "big 5" that Food, Inc. refers to are the ones to blame. Not everyone has the time, energy, money, motivation to track down farm fresh beef. And they shouldn't have to! Grocery stores should provide food that people don't have to worry about. A consumer should be able to go to the Kroger, Winn Dixie or Publix(the three chains included in the recall) and buy a pound of ground beef that isn't going to poison their family...and I'm not referring to the e. coli.

Knowing what I know, I know that this isn't possible. So I aim my voice at the consumer. That is the only way to force the hand of the big companies. If you take the time and energy to track down real food and vote with your dollar, the big 5 have to eventually feel the sting.

I don't mean to come across snarky, I really don't.

I used to be a patron of McDook's. I fed my children the 10,000 cow blend. I let them drink cup after cup of high fructose corn syrup. I bought what was on sale from the middle aisles of the grocery store. I assumed the meat in the meat department was fine. I didn't question the pasteurized milk that was placed before me. I didn't read labels. I didn't think before I ate.

If I can change, anyone can. Everyone can. Everyone should.

Yesterday, we drove twenty minutes out of town to take some vitamins to one of my farmers. When I saw him at the farmer's market on Saturday, he mentioned not feeling well. I called him yesterday to check on him and told him I was bringing him some Vitamin d3(a vitamin EVERYONE should be on) and colloidal silver(a natural antibiotic).

After dropping them off and trading him for two gallons of milk, we hung around and talked, pet a cow, watched him work, met one of his helpers. It was entirely surreal. I can't wait to go back for a real work day. I want to get my hands dirty. Simon is convinced that each teet of the cow produces a different flavor of milk. :) As hot as it is, he questioned if the cows in the field produce hot chocolate. At 106 degrees, it isn't that far fetched.

Bottom line, my kid got to pet a cow whose milk we consume.

There is no better feeling that being involved in my food choices. There is no greater satisfaction than having a personal relationship with the people who provide food for my family.

Another area I'm having to tighten the reigns of my attitude are with our landlord property manager of the house we just left. Things have gone from annoying to completely inconvenient to stressful to just plain wrong. Sean met with a JAG lawyer this morning. Basically, we're screwed. His advice to renters is to pay your move in deposit with the thought of never getting it back. Our situation is going to end up in small claims court, I fear.

I ran in to the new tenants the other day while dropping off some forms at the kid's old school. We had a great conversation in which I was informed our property manager has been slandering us, telling her what terrible tenants we were. Really?

A terrible tenant is one who waits indefinitely on repairs? A terrible tenant is one who decides the crappy dishwasher is not worth the hassle and hand washes their dishes for the last six months of their stay? A terrible tenant is one who has pride in a house they don't own? A terrible tenant is one who has never been so much as a day late with their rent for two solid years? A terrible tenant is one who falls for your scam, befriends you, invites you to family functions, and allows you to harass their other guests by passing out business cards? A terrible tenant is one who watches your kids so you can go to parties?

It's been hard to reign in the attitude when I feel so personally insulted. We were not terrible tenants, we were model tenants, but suckers. Suckers who treated our property manager as we would like to be treated. We gave the benefit of the doubt time after time and assumed our friendship was worth more than a business deal. The situation is still not resolved, but I don't figure it ever will be. The thirty day deadline to have the deposit refund/move out checklist returned is quickly approaching. If nothing else, it's been a learning experience and we will never go into another rental deal without looooooooots of documentation. Any future move in checklist we encounter will have something written on every single line. I will never again overlook things like door stoppers missing their rubber endcap.

With social media and the reach of the internet, you would think business people would think a little harder about how they conduct transactions.

This post started out as something entirely different from where it's headed, so maybe I ought to wrap it up.

The point is, I don't ever want to come across as judgemental. I don't like being judged and I have no room to judge. I think it's natural to think the way I do things is the best way, otherwise, why would I be doing it? We all feel that way, right? I'm not unique in that. I can admit to getting a little carried away with my passion, the way I try to get my thoughts through. I talk a big game here on the intra-nets because it's the only place I can talk a big game. In real life, I'm the biggest chicken you've ever met. A free-range, organic, preservative free, all natural, local chicken, but still...a chicken.

Added to that, I have a two year old that says, "Damn it." Sean is 100% taking the blame for it, as he should. I say, "DANG it." It's the only way my Southerness really shines through. Sean, however, uses the D word all too casually and has obviously said it a time or two in front of my impressionables. I've never had a kid that embarrasses me in public, but this might just be the one.

He said it tonight, again at Jason's Deli. What is it with his public displays in that particular restaurant?? I put a little plate of hummus in front of him and he got a tiny little dollop on his pinky. He gasped as though he'd been shot and threw out an, "Eeewww, DAMN IT!"

I realize such a thing might cause some of you to judge me. I'm just keeping it real. This is an open letter to my family, twenty years down the road. I think it's entirely inappropriate(and hoooooooooolarious) for my two year old to be saying such things, but it's something I want to remember. And I thank my lucky stars it's just the D word.
Looking at his sweet little face, you'd never guess he's such a foul mouth. :)


Brown English Muffin said...

I wish the teets did give out different flavored cool would that be!!

Small claims court would be in principle only...what goes around comes around and they've obviously got it coming around to them.

I take your attitude as you standing for something...voicing your opinion on something while other are too scared to say BOO!!!

Corey said...

i think it's so cool that you guys actually went out to the farm. first that you have that good of a relationship with your farmer and second, what a fantastic learning experience for the kids! it IS so wonderful to have an active role in where your food comes from. just from us having a great garden and chickens, i am so sold on it. nothing is more gratifying than eating your own food. i might attend a workshop next month on starting a winter garden. never done that before. next year we're hoping to go half-sies on a cow with another family. Grass fed beef--hooray!
as for the landlord....ARRR!! I can't believe they're being such boobs! Well, yes I can. My first thought is they spent your deposit, don't have it to give back to you so they're nit-picking every little thing. maybe? or maybe they're just that big of d*cks? I really hope it gets all taken care of for you guys. seriously.