These were some of the words from the final minutes of the documentary that changed my life, Food, Inc. Although it can be melodramatic at times (like most documentaries), I highly recommend it to anyone, especially if they have little knowledge or have never questioned the American food system. This film not only exposed me to the horrific nature of a few dirty companies, but it empowered me with my right to choose–three times a day.
Of course, it is speaking about the three meals of the day, “voting with your fork,” if you will (I personally prefer to vote with my spoon as it’s better suited for oatmeal…). After that spring day in 2010, I wandered into the teensy organic aisle in my local grocery store for the first time. I quickly found myself able to adjust to the small price increase, and I made it work by opting for sale items and avoiding the pricier options (I do not need organic prepared salads, for example. A bag of organic baby spinach will do just fine!). I was delighted to find that I could buy organic Braeburn apples at a sales price of $1.29/lb, which was perfectly within my budget and wasn’t too far from the conventional apples (in some cases, it was even less!).
I believe not everyone has access to or can afford to eat exclusively organic. I myself admit to purchasing some conventional produce on a regular basis. However, knowing my money is going to people who respect the earth and its inhabitants motivates me to “vote” for the organic or local options as frequently as possible. John DePaolis, the General Manager of Country Choice Organic, agreed with me about this when we talked over the phone the other week. Certainly it’s not for everyone, we decided, but more people need to be aware of where their money is going and the quality of the food they’re consuming.
On that note, I’m proud and excited to announce my new partnership with Country Choice Organic. Country Choice Organic is a company from Minnesota (oh hey!) that specializes in–gasp!–oatmeal. One of the issues John and I discussed is that oatmeal presents a phenomenal opportunity for consumers to “vote with their fork” (or spoon!). Oats are an incredibly cheap item; by choosing oats that are grown and nourished using organic practices–free of chemicals and harsh treatment of the soils–one can take a small step without breaking the bank. Think about it: a canister of oats costs less than a box of cereal, AND contains more servings. In fact, this is one of the factors that hooked me on oatmeal to begin with! If you’ve joined my oatmeal-loving club, congratulations! You’re already saving mega dollars every month.
I cannot tell you how pleased I am about this partnership. John told me that my recipes were a hit with the CCO staff, and that they believe the mission behind my blog could inspire a new generation of oatmeal lovers. I mean, what more can an Oatmeal Artist ask for?
Feel free to visit the CCO website (linked above and on the badge at the side of the blog) to learn more about their product line and read their story, as well as find information about whole grains, the organic industry, and even the history of oats.