Wednesday, February 23, 2011
There is one distinct symbol of wealth here in America. It has nothing to do with Lexus, Mercedes, or Porsche cars, luxury hotels or larger than life TV's. This symbol is much less flashy, but I assure you, equally telling: the American health food store. Rows upon rows of organic, vegan, carbon-neutral treats ooze wealth like hot wax down a surrendering candle. The truth is customers (and admittedly, I am one of them) opt to forgo basic goods in exchange for more expensive, trendier versions of the same products. There is no purer demonstration of luxury than having the option of paying more for what many in the world struggle to buy even at the most basic levels. Before the latest Egyptian protests (influenced in part by poverty and rising food prices) the largest protests in Egypt took place when the government tried to cancel the bread subsidies. Though sometimes dreadlocks-clad and hemp-adorned, I urge you to appreciate the next time you stop by your local health food co-op. The good fortune of finding yourself there can be overwhelming.