Once a vegetarian, always a vegetarian

I’m making some potato and onion soup, second time this week, using stock from the potatoes and bok choy I had last night for dinner. I brought some potatoes and choy to a friend’s place for dinner – she made lasange, caesar salad, a fruit crumble with ice cream. Everyone else (but our kids) drank wine. I’ll have the soup when I get back from the pool – going to bike up there now. Damn rain. The last of my lentils are soaking, I’ll cook them tonight, have leftover potatoes with them, have more lentils left for lunch & dinner tomorrow night. Five apples left. Enough oats for porridge the next two mornings. So first of all, what have I been able to carry over of my food ethics – or politics – from my regular middle-class diet. I’m still a vegetarian, that you can do cheaply. Buying organic, caring about locovores (eating food form local farms)? Not so much. I did buy locally – from Punjabi Market on Main Street, and Buy-Low at Kingsway and 10th, another produce store at 14th and Main. Food’s been kind of boring, repetitive and without too much excitement. I’ve probably lost weight – don’t know. I’ve tried to maintain my level of activity – riding my bike, running, swimming, yoga. But any lack of difficulty I’ve had sticking to my budget owes as much to my already-equipped kitchen (pots and pans, an actual stove, not the hotplate you have in an SRO, or the shed a friend of a friend lived in when she was a grad student at UBC) as to any reasonableness of $26. But the biggest reason of course is that this is only for one week, I have a roof over my head and don’t have to spend time looking for an apartment, I have a partner to help with taking care of our kid, I’m not looking for work, I don’t have any physical or emotional difficulties (tho try telling my girlfriend that!). This weekend in the Globe and Mail (http://bit.ly/RbidVH) there’s a story about a couple in Vancouver who leveraged their Vancouver house – mortgaged it – and used that money to buy a $725,000 brownstone in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, people walk down my street pushing their possessions – or the cans they’ve found – in a shopping cart, in the rain, and will line up at United We Can to supplement their welfare – or because they’re too proud to take welfare. We live in a society with a stark, obscene gap between the rich and the poor, and we can and should change it.

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