I took my two-year-old with me to the local farmers' market today. Apparently bringing a child along is a perk. Her smiles were rewarded with extra tomatoes, a gourd and other goodies. But I made a big mistake.
I was dutifully going from booth to booth in search of organic produce when I asked one vendor if his apples had been sprayed. He told me that almost all of the vendors there sprayed their fruit. And although he had tomatoes that had not been sprayed, he said they wouldn't sell as well as the ones that had been since they weren't as pretty. He added that he would like to grow more organic food, but the cost is prohibitive and people are still in search of nice-looking produce.
I felt bad for him, especially since there were a couple of organic booths at the market, but what happened next is still bothering me more than anything. He offered my daughter a kohlrabi, which I had never eaten before. Instead of just taking it and thanking him for his generosity, I asked if it had been sprayed. He said it had, so I quietly put it down and thanked him anyway. I didn't even realize what I had done until we had left the market.
One of my favorite shows is Anthony Bourdain's, "No Reservations." In one episode, Bourdaintalked about how he eats whatever is put in front of him. To him, food is a gift. I wholeheartedly agree with him. In fact, I had this exact conversation with my husband about how I would never openly object to a meal that was offered at someone's house. So why did I act like such a jerk?
I know I should have accepted the kohlrabi. I didn't even have to eat it once I got it home if I was that concerned about the pesticides. For all I know the pesticide he used was organic. Now all I can do is learn from my rude behavior.
I do believe that I am helping my daughter grow up healthier by making smart food choices, but I just got a much-needed reminder - that people are more than the sum of their fruits.