Organic Politics -- 06/05/04

I've probably mentioned two or three times that I like shopping at the newest supermarket it town -- Belmont Market (which is located in the Belmont Shopping Plaza, of course). Belmont was (and still is) a wholesale produce company that also ran a relatively small produce market in this small shopping plaza that was anchored by a small RoJack's Supermarket. When the RoJack's chain went out of business, the family that owned Belmont Produce decided to remodel and expand the supermarket and reopen it as their own supermarket. This took months longer than they had expected (and, I assume, cost them quite a bit more than they had expected as well) but towards the end of last year they finally opened their new market.

The emphasis is on fresh food, with a large deli, a meat department with real butcher counter and fresh fish, a sushi corner, an in-store bakery, and (of course) a large fresh produce department. They also carry an amazing variety of bread from seven Rhode Island area artisan bake shops. Those fresh food departments take up more than half the store. They have several short aisles with the usual range of canned soups and boxed breakfast cereals, etc., but they also stock more of the upscale, yuppy, hippy, new age, organic foods than a typical chain supermarket. I've taken to buying more and more of the high fiber organic cereals they carry and Jill likes to get their organic low salt tortilla chips for her role-playing game evenings, etc.

The other day I picked up a box of granola bars made by Nature's Path. There was a display of their granola bars -- several different kinds -- and I was amused enough (and they were on sale) to buy a box of Nature's Path Authentic 1960's Organic Granola Bars. Among the varieties available were Cranberry Soy, Pumpkin FlaxPlus and Apricot'N Almond. The one I picked, however, was called HempPlus. The ingredients, according to the side of the box:
Organic rolled oats, organic brown rice flour, partially polished organic brown rice syrup, organic invert cane syrup, organic evaporated cane juice, organic expeller-pressed canola oil and/or organic soybean oil, organic flax seeds, organic acacia gums, organic honey, organic hemp seeds, sea salt, organic molasses, rice extract.
Yes, not only are they fighting the fight for organic food and against the evils of GMA foods, they are also fighting the war-on-drugs crowd for recognition of hemp seed as a valid food source. Yes, I am typing with tongue-in-cheek, but the author of the promotional verbiage on the back of their box seems almost to be doing the same. "Nature's Path Chewy Organic Granola Bars -- A Truly Authentic Organic Granola Bar, Groovy Man!" (No, I am not making this up. These are direct quotes.) "What do tie dye T-shirts, love beads, and flower children all have in common? The 60's, of course -- the dawning of the age of granola heads."

It tasted like a granolla bar. Crunchy cardboard.

I stumbled upon the Libertarian Party web site. Those of you who have suffered through various political rantings here in the past may recall that I sometimes say that my political leanings tend to be lower-case libertarian, although from time-to-time I may vote (upper-case) Libertarian (as I did in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections). Their site has a Platform Comparison feature -- it lists excerpts from platform statements on various issues (Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian) -- but the excerpts are presented without attribution to the party, you have to select the statement you most agree with, and when you are finished, it tells you how many times you selected each party. There are two versions, a short one and a long one.

On the short one, dealing with seven different issues, I agreed with the Democratic position one time, the Green position one time, the Libertarian position two times, and the Republican position three times. The long version, instead of just saying which one of the four positions is closest to your own, allows you to rate each of the four positions on a zero to ten scale as to how close it is to your own position and also to rate how importan that issue is to you. That version shows my opinions giving roughly equal weight to the Green and Libertarian parties, with the Republicans quite a distance back and the Democrats in fourth place.

However, they also have a link to "The World's Smallest Political Quiz" -- That one tells me I am clearly Libertarian (Categories are Libertarian, Left-Liberal, Authoritarian, Right-Conservative, and Centrist).

Try them for yourselves.

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