Years ago, I caught myself saying
something about “voting with my dollars” for some product I believed in. The
context was some kind of argument, and I was going to buy it, dammit, whatever
it was, to support the concept and whoever or whatever produced it, no matter
what it cost.
I can’t even remember what it was
that I was so riled up about and why I thought it was so deserving of support,
but at the time I was struck by the cleverness and originality of the idea of
voting with my dollar. I’d never heard of it before.
Later, I heard the same expression
used by a TV commentator and I just about fell on the coffee table. He’d
expression! Well, who
cares, right? Maybe it was one of those serendipitous things, like cultural
artifacts that pop up in a hundred different places at once. Whoever invents it
and however it enters your lifestyle is irrelevant. It works.
Right now we’re up to our sweaty brows
in pre-election fevers of all sorts. If you’re feeling cynical that your vote
or a US Democratic vote won’t count anyway, it’s a good time to consider how we
all vote, every day, whenever we make choices about what we eat and drink, or
anything else we buy, for that matter.
So who and what are you voting for
with your food dollars these days? What companies, what chemicals, what
trucking outfits, what research or farmers or package designers did you just
prop up with your hard-earned bucks when you bought that can of soup, that head
of lettuce, that egg salad sandwich? What systems and values? What regions?
China? Columbia? British Columbia? Your neighbour’s farm? A family-run coffee
And what did you neglect, pull the
plug on, say ix-nay to? What did you weaken by not buying into it, by not
giving it any money — capital it can expand with, grow bigger, stronger, more
See? Simple grocery shopping never
looks the same after you think of it as voting. It’s like taking your power
So in the sprit of this mighty fecund
election season, I bring you the following facts, with apologies to Harper’s
Index. They might help you decide how to vote in your next daily food election.
Glenda’s Handy Consumer Voters’