Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Choice of a Lifetime

In all likelihood, this will be my last ever blog post as an unwed man. This Saturday, I'm getting married.

I was well prepared for the intensity of planning the wedding thanks to advice from friends and family and thanks to the movie Father of the Bride. What I wasn't ready for was the nearly talmudic decision making process of how to make the event (and the menu) as sustainable as possible (or as sustainable as we could afford).

Compostable cups or reusable glasses? Local apples that have been sprayed or organic ones with transportation induced carbon footprints? Classy, printed invites or a pdf sent over e-mail? Such decisions were seemingly endless.

This may not surprise those of you engaged in the complex task of figuring out how best to eat while remaining a responsible global citizen. Though vegan/Hummer versus omnivore/Prius comparisons aside, I think the solution is fairly simple and well summarized on the yellow rubber band on the cover of Pollan's most recent book: "eat food, not too much of it, mostly plants" (he goes on to provide a more precise definition of "food"). Though of course this is harder to do if you're one of many Americans living in a food desert or if you're part of the growing ranks of the poor and unemployed who can't afford such a lifestyle.

In the end we compromised, using some local ingredients, having very little meat, and serving locally made hard cider in compostable cups (and I'm still craiglisting for someone who's actually willing to turn them into compost). But the real challenge came in picking a wine to use during the actual ceremony.

In one hand I held a highly rated Canadian ice wine which I knew would make for a thrilling, sweet and complicated sip while at the altar. In the other hand was a small bottle of something called Sustainable Red, a California blend that was much less exciting but which claimed to be carbon free among other eco-perks advertised on its recycled paper label.

Suddenly, on the eve of my wedding and on this threshold of my future, I felt as though I was making the choice of a lifetime. Though simple, the decision seemed epic: should I pick the bottle that contained experience or the one that held morality? Should I eat the apple or live in Eden?

In the end I went with the Sustainable Red, because that's the carboon free foot on which I want to start my new life.

But if someone bought me the ice wine, I wouldn't turn it down.

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Michelle said...

All right, now I'm even more excited to be here for the wedding!

Selkie said...

"May good fortune and strong health rain upon you and yours..." as my grandpa said...
Blessings upon your marriage, I say.

Karen said...

But the ice wine was Canadian! and much closer to MA, no?

Regina said...

Mazal Tov!!! Marriage is a delicious experience. Enjoy!

Regina said...

Mazal Tov!!! Marriage is a delicious experience. Enjoy!