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Photograph by Adrienne Megoran

Shop Your Conscience: Nesh Dhillon, manager of the downtown Farmers Market, can attest that supporting local growers is the right thing to do.

Viva La Resistance Diet

Help this country get rid of the ugliness clogging the White House by wisely choosing what you eat

By Stett Holbrook

Even before Bush won Florida, I felt sick to my stomach. On election night, my wife and I had Indian food delivered to herald the end of four years of darkness, but the food just didn't sit right. My 3-week-old son felt sick, too. He had painful gas and wailed for hours. I blamed Bush.

Once the reality of Kerry's defeat set in, I reached for the Tums. By Wednesday, the realization that we were in for four more years of reckless incompetence and messianic militarism snuffed out my appetite like Bush snuffed out critical thought in the White House.

If you're like me, you're growing weary of the election postmortems and the what-the-hell-do-we-do-now hand wringing. All the analysis adds up to one thing: We're fucked. The damage the Bush administration will continue to inflict on international relations, the environment, abortion rights, civil rights and good-hearted people everywhere is depressing.

On Wednesday, I felt tempted to resign myself to Republican omnipotence. Resistance seemed futile. Karl Rove's armies of fear and ignorance delivered a crushing defeat to the forces of reason and tolerance. But then I started thinking. Succumbing to the Bush administration's radical agenda would only embolden them. Screw that.

Fighting the Bush administra-tion is an uphill battle, but it's already begun. It's important to stay engaged and prepare for the battles to come. Toward that end, I'm advocating the Resistance Diet. Coupled with regular voting and exercise of your First Amendment rights, you can help the nation lose the ugly fat that clogs the White House by wisely choosing what you eat.

The Resistance Diet is predicated on the notion that eating is a political act. It goes like this. Eat locally grown food. Seek out organically produced foods and produce. Avoid corporate agriculture.

Eating locally grown food around here is remarkably easy. While the Bush administration's ag policy has abandoned small family farms in favor of multinational corporations like Conagra and Cargill, shopping at farmers markets helps keep growers afloat and counters the effects of a globalized, import-dependent, subsidy-addicted food economy. Plus, local food has less distance to travel, which means it requires less fuel to get to you. Reducing our oil dependence is another way to subvert the Bush agenda.

Organically and sustainably produced foods are free of petrochemical-based fertilizers and pesticides, products made by Bush-loving corporations like Dow and Monsanto. Buying these foods also expresses your concern about impacts on water quality, global warming and wildlife diversity, sentiments absent in the Bush camp. And by avoiding food produced by corporate giants like Phillip Morris and ADM, you're taking a stand against the monopolistic industrialization that has taken oven our food supply.

Individually, the Resistance Diet is a small act. but it identifies your stance against the powers that be. Collectively, it can chip away at the cruel wall Bush has erected across the globe. And it will make you healthy and strong and ready to keeping fighting for what's right.

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From the November 17-24, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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