"Do you own McDonald's?"
I was at a lecture when the very first words out of the speaker's mouth, was this question. The audience bristled with indignant silence for we were a group of passionate, organic rousing-soil praising-local promoting-animal lovers.
In the silence that followed the question, you could almost hear everyone's thoughts...
Well of course I don't own McDonald's. Because I'm against processed foods. Because I care about the environment. Because I am pro organics and local food. Because I am against industrialized meat production and the horrific treatment of workers and animals that come with it. Because I'm trying to push back against the rising obesity epidemic. Because I understand the high price that comes with cheap food. Because the world does not need another damn plastic Happy Meal toy to fill the landfills and clog our waterways.
"Do you own mutual funds? Please raise your hands if you do."
Blank look, extended pause. And then...
Almost every hand in the room raised. And a collective "gulp".
It was this series of questions and the resulting sickening realization that I did own McDonald's (a lot of it—in various places, but mostly my retirement account) that led me to set aside my fear of flying and book a flight to the Slow Money national conference in Santa Fe next week. Slow Money is a new way of looking at where we invest our dollars—with a theme of "investing as if food, farms, and fertility mattered".
The experience that day spoke to me to me so deeply (okay sliced right through my soul) that I researched each share and dumped my funds. I realized I could no longer walk the path of talking as if this stuff was important to me but not put my money where my mouth, heart or brain was. More than anything, I wanted a return on investment that would let me sleep at night.
Whether you're a farmer, foodie, investor, or anyone who cares about the sustainability of the planet I encourage you to come join me in Santa Fe next week. There is a way out of the global mess that industrialization has caused, but it's going to take each of us being very intentional about where we spend and place our bucks.
Footnote: McDonald's was the example given, but you could insert just about any corporate giant that is taking more than it is giving from people, animals and the planet.
This entry has been posted as part of Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday.
Previous Fight Back Friday entries:Crap in, crap out