I have a dilemma, but first I have to make a confession. No – I’m not “Out Of Toilet Paper,” but I have become “One Of Those People.” I’ve been one for about 6 months now and, I have to say, I think it’s been a change for the better. I’ve always been very fond of food and mindful of what I put into my body, but I’ve taken it to a new level. I’ve sworn off bizarre, unidentifiable chemicals including high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and anything partially hydrogenated (this one mostly for it’s inability to commit to either being hydrogenated or not). I’ve also been doing yoga at least weekly, joined a local CSA, and all but stopped shopping the middle aisles of the grocery store. I’ve learned the value and the better taste of organics (the eggs are great – so full of character!). DH has always wanted a ranch/farm and I think this may be the slow coming together of what we both want. (Let’s not get too carried away – I still oppose having anything to do with cattle.)

In an attempt to avoid being dubbed the judgmental, self-righteous food freak, I try to keep this all to myself. I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing what I should and should not be eating even when labels aren’t available. (When in doubt, stick with the veggies, be leery of the sauces, and never drink the major-brand sodas.)

For a while, I gave myself a pass to use up all the old “stuff” in the pantry. In the beginning, it was pretty easy – these were the things I’d been eating all my life. Then it became more difficult. As I’d eat, all I could think about were the possible effects and the unknowns of what I was eating. So I stopped eating them. I hunted for “approved” and acceptable products to replace the old ones.

Now for my dilemma. I still have a corner of the pantry with a stash of “prohibited” products and there’s a food drive going on at work. I’ve been torn about tossing the canned goods (how wasteful!) vs. donating them to a food bank (2nd class nutrition?). If it doesn’t meet my standards and I don’t want anyone to have to eat food that could be so potentially bad, but I also understand that  some people would be grateful for the offering. It’s an ethical debate for me. If someone who can afford the choice willingly chooses one of my “prohibited” products, I don’t begrudge the decision. To be forced to eat such things out of necessity or desperation is deplorable.

So what’s the solution here? I could really use the pantry space and the cleared conscience. Can just leave them on the side of the road and hope someone else will find them a good home – Maybe the ASPCA?

Explore posts in the same categories: Ponderings

6 Comments on “OOTP”

  1. Mom Says:

    Give the food to people who can use it. If they do not want it, they will not take it. Give them the choice of whether or not to starve to death for heavens sake. GIVE THE FOOD!!!!

  2. Six Says:

    I am with Mom – you are over thinking the whole thing. If I ever needed food from a food bank (knock on wood I won’t), I will be very happy to have what you call your second class nutrition. It is far better than the lack of nutrition all together — free is free.

    Don’t turn into OOTP who over thinks the donation “what if my old clothes don’t fit everyone who needs them?”

  3. V Says:

    Yep, I agree with Mom. Give the food. Did you volunteer at the food bank? The food there all comes from the middle aisles — not what you might call the best choices. I think people who are hungry will still appreciate the offering.

  4. Christy Says:

    I agree with all your points. Until the little voice in the back of my mind speaks up and says “pitch what you have and buy the replacements to donate.” If any of you told me you needed a bottle of ketchup, I’d grab you a bottle that met my standards and not give you my trash. Obviously, buying all new products to donate would still leave me with the current unused stash in my pantry.

    V – I did volunteer (LOVED working there for the few years we did it) and was often bothered by the amount of nasty, discarded, damaged, and horribly expired food people were forced to take. Every time I was there, I debated taking the nasty stuff and replacing it with quality products. I don’t like being the one to force people to sacrifice their health by eating my discards.

    You can all rest easy – I will donate the goods and reclaim my pantry space.

  5. V Says:

    One more thing. It’s important to release things — quit carrying around so much stuff. I mean the physical things, like having to store the food in the pantry, but also the mental stuff, like knowing that it’s there and having it’s presence weigh on you. Don’t let things control you. Just donate the items and free yourself.

    If it helps, next time there’s an opportunity to donate food, you can always pick up some nice, healthy, and yummy Amy’s brand soups, or some other organic and not bad for you pasta and sauce or something.

  6. Christy Says:

    You’re totally right. Wanna come help me empty my storage room this weekend? LOL

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