Monday, May 12, 2008

Runner's High

Despite liking the store overall, I have some serious issues with my employer. For what they claim to be, they certainly have no standards for what they will or won't sell, including processed products loaded with high fructose corn syrup, MSG, chemical preservatives, and hydrogenated fats. You also can't get locally grown, grass-fed beef there. Or grass-fed beef at all.

In a meeting the other day though, our GM made several announcements concerning some decisions they'd made. For one, he said, and this was a big one, they are going to seriously cut back on the amount of bottled water they sell. He said (and I'm paphrasing) that it just didn't make sense to import water from Brazil, or New Zealand, or Fiji, when it consumed so much fuel and the manufacturing of bottled water was in itself so wasteful (in case you didn't know, it takes three times the amount of water that's in a bottle to create each bottle, not to mention the petroleum used to make the bottles and then the subsequent waste). The "house brand" water they sell there, incidentally, is bottled in New Zealand, so it makes me wonder if they're going to discontinue the house brand or just start bottling it somewhere else.

The other major announcement he made was that the company is going to start specializing in a lot more seasonal, locally-grown produce instead of importing so much of it from Mexico and South America.

Which made my little heart bounce with joy. Of course, the cynical side of me knows that they're only doing these things because fuel is so expensive (the GM even admitted that) and not out of any kind of obligation to local farmers, but I'll take it where I can get it.

And this, my friends, is why I think the rising gas prices are a good thing. If even huge $3 billion corporations are feeling that much pinch from gas that's not even $4 a gallon yet (and really, that's small potatoes compared to what most of Europe pays for gas), imagine what will happen when it reaches $5 or $6. At least a few people are starting to think ahead.

I think it's really idiotic to hear Clinton and McCain talk about a summer gas tax holiday out of one side of their mouths, then talk about the need to invest in other fuel sources out of the other. Not to mention that once the "holiday" is over, prices are going to go up even higher than they are now to compensate for the lost revenue over the summer. The only thing that's going to make people take a gas shortage seriously is.... a gas shortage! If that's what it takes to start making out economies more locally-based, I'm all for it. I'm fortunate to live in an urban area with a lot of stuff at my disposal (including public transportation, such as it is...) and I know that. Not everyone's so lucky. And that sucks. But I've never quite understood why we put so much emphasis on people's comfort and jobs or whatever, over environmental health. It just doesn't make any sense.

On another note, I started running again this morning, and I really got that light-headed runner's high. It was pretty great. Last time I ran regularly I was still smoking heavily and was most likely not getting the oxygen I needed. Well, I'm sure I was this time. And I only plan on running once, maybe twice a week, not three times a week like last time when I lost so much weight so quickly and got really freaked out. I also wasn't eating enough back then.

My legs are a little wobbly right now but it feels really good.


Mandy said...

Is this going to be for all of the stores, or just yours? I hope it's for all of the stores...

ryan said...

I don't know, actually. I know each store has their own buyers, in-house, but it could be a company-wide mandate. He didn't say, and I didn't think to ask. I did grill him about the beef, though, no pun intended. He said a lot of customers had asked about grass-fed and it was something they were "looking into." Whatever that means.

Mandy said...

My mom sent me home with some grass-fed beef this weekend (I drove home so I could take a cooler with me). She sent some steaks and ground beef... and a tongue and a tail! I don't know what I'm going to do with those...