It was a beautiful Saturday morning. Idyllic, really. The sun was shining, the shoppers were hungry, and the produce was fresh. I was waiting in line at my one of my favorite farmer’s stands, waiting my turn.
The lady in front of me paid with a $20. She apologized for not having smaller change. If you google “how to shop at a farmers’ market” you will probably find something about carrying small bills if you can to make it easier for them. It’s a thing.
The farmer looked at her and smiled kindly. “That’s ok, ma’am! I know what you mean, though! You know, sometimes when you go to the drive-thru at McDonald’s and all you have is a $20 and it takes them f o r e v e r to give you change? I hate that.”
Her smile froze. She stared at him in disbelief, then said in a trying-to-remain-calm voice, “I NEVER eat McDonald’s.” She took her change and walked quickly away.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s bad to never eat McDonald’s. My kids have never eaten there, and I don’t remember the last time I did, either. Yay us. Or whatever. But friends, I am begging you, don’t be that guy. Don’t make people feel like crap because they do eat McDonald’s (especially if they are the ones growing your food). Do you like to be judged by other people just because they need to feel like they have made the right choices themselves? No? Well, that makes sense, because nobody likes that. And it uses energy that you could be putting into something so very much more productive. Like finding the correct change to use at farmers’ markets. Or really any of a number of activities that won’t conclusively brand you (and many of the rest of us who care about where their food comes from) as an elitist.