So my mom says to me that she’s got an “underachieve thyroid” and, although she doesn’t want to go on medications, she doesn’t see any way around it. What causes an underachieve thyroid, I ask? Mom, being the smarty pants she is, had already researched this enigmatic ailment and was disheartened to find very little information on its causes. But, she says, it is somehow linked to chemical exposure and sensitivity.
Immediately, I was ready to raid her bathroom to toss chemical cosmetics, perfumes and deodorants. I was ready to rip up the floor and lay down a new natural-fiber carpet. I had the reusable grocery bags in hand poised for a trip to the produce aisle. Instead she said, organic food “costs” too much.
There is a righting of priorities needed in this country when a woman considers organic produce too expensive, but her medications affordable. I can’t help but wonder how we feel about the price of end-of-life care. Not for my mom, who is a young woman with oodles of healthy, happy, active years in front of her, but for all of us someday when we approach death.
There is a phenomenon that takes over the last 10-15 years of most of our lives that people are afraid to talk about. Society pushes under the proverbial carpet the hip replacements, surgeries, invasive tests, hospital visits, medication concoctions, nurses, life support and hospice workers that for many, define the last decade of living. What is the cost of all that? What is the cost of losing relationships with our oldest and wisest community members because they are part of some denial-based cover-up?
Supporting organically farmed produce, if it can save us these medical bills, preserve these valuable members of our society and give us a coherent, natural death, becomes the most valuable thing I can do—no matter what the price on the tag.
Oscar Wilde once said, “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” I don’t want the same to be said of me. I don’t need more compact discs. I don’t need another down payment. I can override the new tires, the children’s toy and designer boots. The food my family and I eat directly affects our quality of life and it is the first place I will spend my money.
I am not looking to cut coupons or corners—my well-being is far more valuable than that. And to spot a good value, we must consider what is truly important to us.
Yes, it’s time to rediscover our values. This is not a discount body.
Read Part 2: Organic Produce–Price vs. Value: Production Cost