I want to do the right thing. I want to save the world, the environment, my children's health. But I just don't know how.
I start with such good intentions, and I charge head first into the fray. And then I just...stop. Paralyzed. By paradox.
Take sugar, for instance. No, really. Take it. Because dealing with The Sugar Issue is bugging the shit out of me.
[Of course, I'm full of it. Because if I could just eschew all sweeteners, period, I'd be in great shape. But I like sweet stuff. Not the way lots of other people do, but I like it. And my kids? Like many, they live for it. And thus, into the fray I go.]
So: Sugar is bad. Especially white sugar: it's highly processed, a gateway to diabetes, blahblahblah. But what about brown sugar? What about raw sugar? How do those compare?
High fructose corn syrup? I know it's awful, awful stuff. But in the exceptionally long hierarchy of awful, awful stuff, where does it fall? Above white sugar? Below? Above artificial sweeteners? Below?
And what about artificial sweeteners? Definitely way up there on the Awful Stuff Ladder. I think. Maybe. Definitely bad for me, since they make me crazy, so that's an easy call. But what about my kids? What, especially, about my kid who struggles with weight and may indeed be at higher risk for diabetes? What do I put on or in her food?
Honey? Where does it fall on the scale?
Agave nectar? I've started seeing bits and pieces that point out it's not as good for you as you might think.
What about stevia? What's the deal with stevia, anyway? Healthy? Not? Can I use it in anything other than coffee? And do I want to? Because...what is that godawful bitter taste it seems to add to everything I put it in?
And that's only the beginning. I tried finding links to all the stuff I was mentioning above, and in 90 percent of the cases, I couldn't find a single objective article to point to, to even begin to sort it out.
In the end, what this means is that it's impossible to take all my good intentions, walk into a supermarket and think, "This is what is good for us; this is what is good for the environment; this is what I will buy." And so, with every purchase comes the guilt, and with the guilt comes the desire to just throw your hands up in the air and say, "Screw it. If it's going to be this impossible--if there's no way to win--I might as well just give them what they want." (Which in N's case would be huge buckets full of white sugar...and a spoon.)
And don't even get me started on local versus organic, paper versus plastic, disposable plates filling the landfills versus using water and energy and detergents to wash dishes every night, whether mercury-based CFCs really ARE the best thing for our environment, which type of fish to buy and whether it should be wild or farm-raised...
I hate uncertainty. I hate this.