Table Talk

by Jeanne

The whole Wal-Mart issue keeps presenting itself in my life.  In the latest issue of Gourmet there’s an article on organics and Wal-Mart that made my head spin and my heart race. Over the weekend their was a family email thread that discussed the politics of the owners of Curves and Wal-Mart.  The Boston Globe has a huge article in the Sunday edition. The dialogue was spirited and would not surprise anyone raised in the Kennedy tradition.

By 2007 Wal-Mart is expected to control 35 per cent of food and drug sales in the U.S..  If for some strange reason this doesn’t freak you right the hell out you may not be breathing.  As a result of this relationship, the major corporate food companies are streamlining their product lines based on what sells and doesn’t sell at the shelves at WalMart. Sure you  might say that’s great we only get what we like. No we only actually get what the majority likes. How many of us like some small region food or microbrew.  What about a prescription or OTC drug that works for you but not for the other 80% of the Wal-Mart customer base. 

Homogenization is not my cup o’ tea. I appreciate Mom & Pops, regional products and local products.  It’s a tightrope act to act responsibly while keeping an eye on the checkbook.  As my brother articulated we vote with our wallets. And this can have a positive or negative impact.  We need to think about the long-term implications of our consumer behavior.  What we do today has a direct impact on tomorrow.

Politics aside here, there’s two blogs that I’ve been reading for the past few weeks that are focused on Independent America.  Two journalists, who are married to each other, set out from B.C. to travel America’s backroads–no interstates allowed–and produce a documentary on the issue.  The site is well-written given that the author has good cred having worked for NBC and CBC News for the last ten years.

Viva Epicurea is written by his partner in the effort and life.  The focus of her blog is local food in and around Thompson Okanagan.  Another one of their road rules is to eat at Mom & Pop or independent establishments.  There’s a post up now on a BBQ rib joint they ate at.