Jules eats world.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Jury Duty Lady

Today I ran into a woman with whom I'd been called for jury duty a few months ago. I couldn't recall her name, but I remember her because we had lunch together, with a couple of other women, and it was one of those great New York moments when you get a glimpse into the diversity of the city.

The Jury Duty Lady stood out in particular because she was obssessed. She spent the meal railing against food corporations and genetically-modified organisms, as she dug into her stir-fried beef. She told us she was a sometime journalist and always activist. Her obssession was specific: she wasn't generally healthy (she said as she lit a cigarette), she just thought GMOs were harmful. She told us tofu was especially dangerous, since soy was one of the main GMO culprits. Oh, and don't get her started on Monsanto. I remember thinking how fun she must be at cocktail parties.

Tuesday is the day for my CSA -- community-sponsored agriculture. I paid a fee at the beginning of the summer, and now every week I go to a local community center to pick up my share of organic vegetables from a farm upstate. As I approached the center today, I saw a familiar face: the Jury Duty Lady. "I served on jury duty with you," I said. She remembered me, remembered what I do for a living, remembered that I'm planning a wedding. (I said she was obssessed, not that she wasn't nice). She told me she was making a documentary about GMOs, that it would blow my mind. She interviewed the head of the CSA program as I filled my bags with lettuce and eggplant, onion and corn. After I was done I didn't want to interrupt, so I slipped away.

It got me thinking, this Jury Duty Lady encounter, about choosing battles. Of course I don't want to eat things that are bad for me, and I don't doubt that agribusinesses do not have my best interests at heart. I'm glad Jury Duty Lady is there making her documentaries and raising her voice. As for me, I'm happy to pick up my organic vegetables every week, and reserve my rage for other battles. Which battles? More on that another day.


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