Somethin’s Gotta Give (Guest Post)
Geologist, gardener, epicurean, homesteader, scholar, problem solver
It’s a relatively accepted fact that we, as a country, are in trouble. Life as we know it is unsustainable. Just look at the news: Gulf Oil Spill Waste Ushers In Cancer! Oil at $120 Risk Economic Double Dip! U.S. Corn-Crop Delays Signal Tightest World Supply Since 1974! What the…we don’t have any fish?!
We’ve made some progress, but we’ve yet to make the drastic changes necessary to sustain a decent quality of life for future generations. I was convinced we were wholly screwed – that is, until I happened upon the in.gredients website. I was surprised to discover a for-profit business out to prove they can make organic more affordable, make local food more accessible, and make waste reduction more practical. They’re taking a logical approach in attempting to solve problems – such as oil dependence, obesity, the economy, education, malnutrition, sustainability. It’s obviously not a cure-all. But if successful, in.gredients could a model for other businesses, and who knows? Maybe it will be the store that changes the whole game, and that’s exciting. We – the consumer – are excited.
Just what are we excited about?
Removing petroleum from the food industry: From fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides to importing and packaging, our entire food industry is heavily dependent on a finite resource – and that’s, quite frankly, just plain stupid. We’re setting ourselves up for inevitable disaster. As it stands, the industry is unsustainable. in.gredients minimizes transportation by sourcing groceries locally, attempts to procure organic when possible, stocks seasonally, and removes unnecessary packaging – this business will survive and it won’t have to pass the cost of oil prices onto the consumer when gas reaches $10 per gallon.
Minimizing waste: A study done by the US Health Department determined that Americans throw away 25% of the food they buy. The New York Times published this appropriately scary visual, that includes the food waste from grocers. in.gredients minimizes consumer waste, by allowing the customer to buy only what they need and utilizing reusable containers, and plans to minimize the store’s waste by not over-stocking, and composting any spoiled food on-site.
Stimulating the local economy: The economy stinks right now, and a lot of folks are unemployed. The best way to stimulate job growth is at the local level, and in.gredients will be almost, if not entirely, local. A part of the of wealth generated will be reinvested in the Austin economy, helping our local businesses, farms, and residents.
Community: in.gredients will be actively involved in the community. Not only will the store be a place where you can buy your necessities, but they also plan on offering classes to educate the community on sustainable living (gardening, cooking, etc), social events, and consistent charitable giving. The community supports the store, and in return, the store supports the community – it’s only a fair exchange.
After having the “green” movement be misused, abused, and degraded into a marketing ploy, it’s refreshing – and a little thrilling – to watch in.gredients take on this endeavor.