Tuesday, March 30, 2010

sustainable food, cost, and teenage boys

For those of you who might not be aware of this, my little brother moved in with us almost 2 months ago. He’s 20 and a boy (yeah, I know I know I said brother but I’m going for dramatic effect). Anyways… he’s a 20 year old male and I don’t know how many of you out there have been confronted with the eating habits of men at that age. Oh sure, I’d been aware of the rumours about how much they can eat, but let me tell you, the reality is a rather big surprise.

Our grocery bill has tripled. Tripled. Between coffee, hot chocolate and cereal, the boy can go through 6 litres of milk a week.  Whereas once PauI and I could barely finish a 2 litre before it’s expiry date, now we can barely keep the stuff in stock. In case you can’t really grasp how much milk that is:

So if I keep buying my favourite organic milk, I’ll be spending $67 a month on milk alone. The unfortunate reality of having my brother join us, is that it’s forcing me financially to compromise on my food ethics. I cannot sustain the luxury of organic in the face of my 20 year old brother’s mad food consumption habits.

For example, my brother refuses to eat tofu so now I find my freezer full of meat for him (because Paul only ate meat when we had company, at work, when we went out, and at his parents’). And I have to admit that I hate it. I hate that my mostly vegetarian, organic home is being altered to accommodate my brother’s enormous, fussy, junk food eating habits.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my brother and he’s been very good about experimenting and cooking veggie foods for me on his meal nights, but his love of pizza pockets, bacon, and hot chocolate is slowly but surely killing my environmental ideals.

For all you parents out there who struggle with this issue, my hats go off to you . I’m am only beginning to realize how difficult it is to balance the ability instil good eating habits and maintain sustainable food ethics when it adversely affects your pocketbook!

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