Farm Aid 2011 Reflections

Last Saturday Heather and my parents and I went to Farm Aid 2011.  It was my first trip to Live Strong Sporting Park, which I imagine (hope) is a better venue for a soccer game than a concert.  It is a beautiful stadium, but the difference between a capacity of roughly 18,500 (for soccer games) and 25,000 (for concerts) is significant and there was serious congestion in aisles and walkways.

Overall it was a great day, I always love hearing live music and got a chance to see one of my favorites, Dave Matthews.  I also really enjoyed seeing Jason Mraz for the first time.  In addition to the music I enjoyed the chance to see the displays set up around the importance of local agriculture, sustainable practices, and more.  However, to be honest, when I went to the grocery store Sunday night to do our shopping for the week I still bought the cheapest chicken, chicken that I am confident was factory farmed…

It got me thinking to an experience I had several years ago shopping at a local health food store in Northwest Indiana.  At it’s core the question I am again wrestling with is this, which is the higher priority, fiscal stewardship or global/environmental responsibility?

I am even more convinced now than I was when I first wrestled with this issue that many of the products we consume, especially in terms of food, are priced far below what a realistic cost would be because of injustices done to people and to our planet as these products are produced and transported to our stores.  I’m not sure what will change as a result of this renewed awareness, but I am aware of a wrestling within my conscience.

How have you wrestled with these and other related issues?  Any helpful tips or recommendations?

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