Getting Back on Track

So one of the goals that I had when we started this whole compact life thing was to write about it at least once a week. I have already failed. Regardless, I will try to be better in the many weeks ahead.

One of the presents that I got for Christmas was a Briefcase USB Turntable. It is an awesome turntable because it has speakers built in and a usb port out so I can record records onto my laptop. Very cool…thanks mum and dad . I also received a cheque in the mail from my grandma for Christmas and I said to Mandy, “Let’s split this baby and buy anything used we want.” I had in mind to buy some records to go along with my record player. I really want some vintage Johnny Cash, U2, or Radiohead records.

Mandy lovingly reminded me that the point of this whole not shopping year is to, not shop. I said, “Of course and I am all on board for that, but I want to buy used records which are USED.” Mandy once again lovingly reminded me that I didn’t NEED any used records and that we are not supposed to buy things we don’t need. We buy NEEDS not WANTS.

At first I was a little annoyed by the fact I couldn’t go out and buy whatever I wanted, even if it was used. But, in the end Mandy was right and reluctantly I agreed. We so often fall into the trap of thinking we really need something when in actual fact we just want it.

It is a hard habit to overcome, but it is one that I hope will become more natural in the coming year. On Sunday some friends of ours, who are also doing their own compact gave me a copy of Simon and Garfunkle’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. We have so much and we really need so little.

King Corn &The Food We Eat

Last night I watched the documentary King Corn. It is a film which follows two Boston film makers who move to a small town in Iowa called Greene, Iowa to attempt to raise an acre of corn. They follow the corn from kernel to it’s final destination in the North American food cycle. This final destination is the stomach of a cow or the artificial sweetener (high fructose corn syrup) in…well…just about everything. It is an entertaining documentary and right up my alley of experience driven experiments (much like the Compact).

It is scary how much of the food we consume comes from corn. On average we consume 75 pounds of high fructose corn syrup every year. The vast majority of the corn grown in North America can not be eaten until it is processed and turned into other things. It really made me rethink having a bowl of ice cream because essentially I am eating a bowl of milk and corn, which actually now that I think about it sounds delicious.

We have tried to put a limit on the amount of processed foods we eat as a family but it is often hard to get away from. We mainly eat fresh home cooked stuff because of Malora’s arthritis but as a youth worker there are often many late nights full of tim bits, doritos, and coke.