Thursday, January 24, 2008

food in, poo out

Today's agenda includes two Chucking It topics: 1)gDiapers and 2)locavory

So, gDiapers. I have heard some crazy claims, not necessarily from gDiapers themselves, but from people who have tried them, including a savings of, just a minute . . . carry the 2 . . . well, $300 for a year of diapers instead of $3000. Whatever that is. Also they're supposed to be flushable, compostable (just the peed-in ones, because you can't put solid human waste--or any other carn- or omnivore feces--in compost), and if you do throw them in the trash, they biodegrade in 50-150 days, as opposed to when we're conquered by the intelligent machines. So we'll see what I think. I'm going to conduct some of my own experiments. I won't be able to test the composting time until the ground thaws, but I'll at least be able to see if they do a decent job of performing the functions of a diaper, and how much money I spend on them.

Now, about locavory. I read a couple of great essays recently, one in last week's issue of Time, and the Editor's Letter from last month's Cook's Country, that made me think. Both of them discussed the "eat local" movement, and the Time essay, for example, said that's fine for the folks in Iowa as long as they want to eat corn bread, creamed corn and corn on the cob for dinner, and follow it up with corn-flavored soy ice cream. Cook's Country said eating local is all well and good, but it doesn't mean you can't eat clementines for Christmas. And all this reminded me of the tendency I have to get fanatical about my causes, and start thinking that I've got to sew my own grocery bags out of old clothes, compost all our leftovers, grow a half-acre garden, drink only our milk, eat only our cheese, eat only food we grow . . . you get the picture. But really, my whole Chucking It movement is about making a good life for our family and getting rid of the noise that distracts me from truly important things. That's why we don't overschedule our kids, but it's also why we don't need to panic if we eat an avocado. Good food is good food. Now, I still believe in buying local to keep our local economy healthy, and because I don't want to have to buy peaches from somewhere else, when we've got perfection practically in our backyard. But we eat unusual things once in a while, and I'm certainly not going to give up eating lox just because it's not local, or salad greens because they don't grow in January.

So if the gDiapers work, great. I'll use them happily, because a diaper that biodegrades and saves me money is a good thing. But if for some reason they're terrible, then I'll go back to disposables without guilt. Likewise, I'll buy what I can from local farmers and fruit stands, and grow what I can in our garden, but I'm still going to spend a fair amount of our grocery budget on non-local foods.

Chucking It, if I could condense it into a manageable thought, is making the simplest and most logical choice that benefits the most people, and tossing anything else. Take the good, leave the bad. Push out the jive, bring in the love. Food in, poo out. Lots of ways to say the same thing.

*Edited: I am a big goober. The $300 cost was for cloth diapers, not gDiapers. gDiapers are actually a little more expensive than regular disposables. So now it's even more important that they work properly!


All8 said...

Okay, I'm coming in from out of the cold. I've been blogstalking you for quite some time. It's probably because we like the same movie or book or something, I don't remember.

But, I just wanted to let you know, I hear ya. I understand. I enjoy your blog and the things that concern you are similar to my concerns.

Difference--we moved to the city so that DH can finish school. School-good, City living-stinks! Can't wait to move back. Compost without having the health inspector visit often. Tons more growing space. CHICKENS!!!! You haven't convinced me about goats, give me my dexter or a sweet jersey and I'll be quite content.

Keep up the good work. Come check out my blog if you want. And maybe we discuss the nastiness of industrial ag, or kfo's. Fun times.

highdeekay said...

Layne's got a block-stalker! Neener, neener, neener.

On another note (a more mature one), I am SO far behind you but I am going to do a garden this year. I've been trying to do some research on local methods and making lists of things I would like to grow (because I like to eat them). Thanks for the inspiration. Oh, let me know about the gDiapers. If they prevent blow-outs, I'll buy yours and mine! :)

Layne said...

I'm just surprised that anyone reads my blog who's not doing it out of friend-or-family guilt! Welcome. I'd like to see your blog--what is the address?

All8 said...

I'm so relieved. I've wanted to post before but, I guess I'm a wuss. Here it is,

Layne said...

Also, Heidi--I have in my head that Alabama is a Garden-of-Eden kind of place where you can grow almost anything. Is this true?