MickyDees and the Power of Demand


Early asparagus

The other day I was late coming home from work, and I was starving, and had an hour-long drive ahead of me. I try to eat well and watch what I spend, but I’m no saint, and I have to admit that a large fries from McDonald’s was calling my name. But I managed to summon some will-power and drive by. So I came home, had a snack, worked in the garden with the kids, and then made a really good supper with my wife, with mostly organic groceries and asparagus from the garden.

Later, reflecting on this, it occurred to me how many ramifications flowed from that tiny moment of passing McDonalds by. I have come more and more lately to feel that influencing the market system is probably the only realistic path forward for humanity. A world of hippie communes isn’t going to be productive enough to provide for 7 billion or more. The damage being wreaked on the planet is due to the power of the market, but this is the very power that needs to be redirected. (And trust me, I’m no free-market zealot). In that no-McDonalds moment, I lowered demand for fast food and empty calories and wasteful packaging, and later increased demand for the products of some organic growers, or for the Co-op in town. But I also spent more quality time with my family, was hungry enough later to eat a healthy supper, and had more money in my wallet at the end of the day.

Small decisions can add up.