Skip to content

Three Square Votes a Day

November 11, 2012


Like many Americans, I shuffled off to my polling place last Tuesday morning and cast my vote, then shuffled off to work, proud to have done my civic duty.  It was a long and rancorous campaign season, but the silver lining was the amount of public discourse that had taken place around important issues over the last few months.   Elections have that effect on society – they get us talking and thinking.  We realize that an election offers us an opportunity to concretely interject our voice into the workings of this country, and that such opportunities are rare.  Or are they?


As citizens, we sell ourselves short when it comes to the power of day-to-day choices.  We’ll spend a year prepping ourselves for a Presidential election, and exactly no time at all thinking about how what we ate for breakfast could change our country.  The concept “Vote with your fork” has been around for awhile (check out this article by Michael Pollan), but I am frequently amazed at the ease with which people at all points on the political spectrum are able to mentally distance themselves from this idea.  Politicians come and go, but money is the eternal legislator of our nation.  And as food is such a frequent purchase, ultimately our choice of what fills our daily three squares – and where it’s sourced – constitutes one of the most important political decisions that we can make, especially with concern to the environment.  In the United States alone, agricultural land constitutes nearly half of the total acreage – over 15 times the area dedicated to urban land.  Agriculture is the single biggest impact that humankind has made upon the Earth; food – and the choices we make concerning it – is intimately tied to the present and future health of our global economy and environment.


So what are you voting for at dinner time?  To quote the site “3 Votes a Day”:


“Buying local, sustainably grown fruit, vegetables, milk, meat and grains is a vote for independent businesses, small farms and diverse landscapes.  Buying conventionally grown, processed foods is a vote for feedlots, homogenous fast food chains, and petroleum fueled industrial agriculture.”


How can you vote for the former?  Attend farmer’s markets, buy a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) meat or produce subscription, support your local food co-op; if these aren’t options for you, try to choose neighborhood grocers (Tim and Tom’s Speedy Market!) over SUPERVALU owned chains (many names – Cub, Jewel-Osco, Shop n’ Save – same owner), look for seasonal, USA-grown produce in the supermarket.  Go to local restaurants rather than chains.  Read food labels, and take a pass on things with a billion ingredients, especially if they are heavy in corn and soy derivatives (subsidized with tax-payer funds) or palm oil (Level 10 Rainforest Destruction ability).  Learn where your meat comes from, and how it was raised – and if you can’t determine these things (or if the truth makes you nauseous) don’t buy it.  Eat More Kale.

Go to Google.  Research your home.  Find out what it has to offer.  Support it.  Vote with your dollars.  Once every four years we get the option of choosing between two people (dudes) for President, but we vote with our forks and wallets every day.


The Power is Yours!  Chews wisely.




Happy eating,




One Comment leave one →
  1. bree0087 permalink
    November 11, 2012 5:51 pm

    HEYO! Nice article Kueps! And so true, I’m going to forward it to my Mom. Nothing like clear prose telling it how it is yo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: