Note: Playlist for airport wandering (Odesza- In Return album)
So, the journey begins, and I have most certainly over packed. Awe well, you live you learn… Or you leave half of your belongings (many wardrobe related) at your grandmother’s house for the entire foreseeable future. After some hectic months, and years of dreaming, I have successfully woken up and arrived at the San Francisco International Airport with plenty of time to spare (Thanks mum).
While wandering around the terminal I decided to make use of my time and see what kind of a food desert was housed in this large, steal, AC regulated, prison, i.e. SFO International Terminal 1. Not too surprisingly I almost immediately found a completely organic “Farm Market” store which offered a variety of goods ranging from hand crafted sandwiches to freshly chopped salads. I remain unperturbed mostly because of San Francisco’s, and all of the bay area for that matters’, uncanny ability to make everything feel like North Berkeley’s’ Gourmet Ghetto. Fresh, boojie, and overpriced. While I was happy to find such locally sourced and fresh options so readily available, I was rather shocked to see each treats price. While I respect and understand airports annoying tendency to price everything up the wazoo, the fact that the only fresh and nutritious option was so ridiculously expensive was nothing but disturbing.
Sadly, this is a pattern that plagues many communities. Why would any hard-working individual spend $10 on an artisanal flatbread sandwich, that mostly consists of leaves, when they could get a full meal at McDonalds for a third of that price right next door? One could say that one choice is significantly more nutritious, however why would you choose to concern yourself with such things when your more focused on satisfying that hunger in your belly? Funny, don’t you think, that one processed meal, a meal that’s undergone countless chemical treatments and procedures, costs less than a meal that’s been simply picked out of the ground and cut up. I have to believe that food industry pricing problems such as these could simply be solved by a social change in perspective. If we as a society choose to deem organic, fresh products the norm, then over time our market for edible goods will have to shift to allow organic produce to become financially available to all. We as the consumers have the power to turn such a market on its head. Through our own purchasing actions we dictate the demand and quantity for goods that any industry could supply, including Monsanto produced vegetables, and if the market for such products suddenly diminishes and disappears, well then Monsanto goes down with it (what a day that would be). However, I do respect that this is easier said than done. Not all of us have the luxury of ignoring certain processed products and opting for fresher ingredients. Remember the hard worker mentioned above? Well again, the need to thrive and feed your family usually outways the focus on the nutritional value of any food product. Maybe this industrial monopoly on organic foods, the one that has led to the extreme over pricing of such products, won’t only be changed by individual consumers’ financial decisions, but will also be manipulated by the voices of the consumers themselves. Maybe it is time for all of us to stand up to such injustices and tell the food industry that we won’t stand for it anymore. Together we have the power as the consumers of this global food market to take control of our food and where its sourced as well as demand more nutritious and affordable options. In the meantime, however, I will be going next door to the airport newsstand to find myself a nice bag of affordable, chemical filled gummy bears 🙂 A little red dye 40 never killed anyone…
Not right away at least..