A couple months ago I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Greene speak at a Metro Moms event in Dallas. He’s a pediatrician, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, and author of Raising Baby Green and Feeding Baby Green, among many other accolades. It was a pivotal point in my life as a mother
It’s not that he spoke that much about stuff I wasn’t already aware of. I knew that feeding my kid fresh fruits and veggies, organic when possible, is a pretty key ingredient in raising a kid who hopefully won’t become one of the 1 in 3 who is predicted to end up with Type 2 Diabetes sometime in their lifetime. Although, I must say I didn’t know, or just hadn’t given much thought to how much respected baby food companies market and successfully sell sub-par (at best) food to well-meaning parents.
I learned quite a bit about the history of the baby food companies that day, and how, from a very early age, we are (many times unintentionally) introducing our children to foods and tastes that set them up for a lifetime of cravings for chips, cookies, processed snacks, and a distaste for the fresh fruits and veggies that are best for them. It KILLED me to think that parents who are just trying to do the best they can with what they have are already fighting a losing battle simply because they don’t know any better.
I left that day with a renewed commitment to take an active role in what I was feeding my family, an autographed copy of Feeding Baby Green, and a curiosity about what else I just don’t know any better about when it comes to what we eat. A few weeks later my husband downloaded the audio book version of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. He listened to it non-stop on a long business trip and couldn’t shut up about things like monocultures, CAFOS and corn when he got home. I hadn’t seen him this passionate about anything since he thought he’d try out home brewing and become the next Budweiser.
It was a long trip up to St. Louis for Christmas, so I crammed in the always-too-big-for-my-tiny-earholes earphones, and let the sweet sound of the narrator take me away while the sound of my screaming child faded into the background. I listened to the first half of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and was riveted, appalled, disgusted, saddened, but most of all, determined. I knew entirely too much about chicken nuggets for life to ever be the same again. It was yet another pivotal moment.
Scott and I have since had hours of conversation about the impact of the food industry on the world we live in today, on our family, and on our child and the world he will live in 50 years from now. These conversations usually involve a lot of “I KNOW!” and “We HAVE to make a change” kind of exchanges. We raise our voices, but not because we are disagreeing with each other. We are just both so fired up and DETERMINED.
We have a few simple goals for this year that will help us to make that change.
1. We need to get a deep freeze. I’m scouring Craigslist on a daily basis, and we’re earmarking tax return money for one.
2. We want to take part in a produce co-op. Basically, we will receive a box of local and organic, seasonal produce twice a month. We will then have to get damn creative on how to cook up or store that whole box of produce (and you see why the deep freeze is so key to this plan).
3. We want to eat less meat, and the meat we do eat we want to come from a local, responsible farm. Like this one. The meat will cost more this way, yes, but if we are eating less, it shouldn’t make much of an impact on the budget. And we shouldn’t have any problem eating less meat because, again, we are going to get damn creative with the produce.
Okay, so headed into the new year we were pretty set on these goals. We weren’t moving at lightening speed to achieve them, I will admit, but I do have to say that I think we’ve already drastically changed our eating habits over the last month.
Then we watched Food Inc. last night, and all I have to say is HOLY FUCKING LIFE CHANGING. I mean, our life, the way we look at food, is already switching gears, but that movie threw everything into third and sent us screaming down the highway toward lasting, huge changes.
Please, please, I implore you to watch Food Inc. What you do with the information from there is entirely up to you, but please do yourself a favor, sign up for a one month free trial of Netflix.com and watch it. Now. You can stream it onto your computer. That’s what we did. We had a little date with my laptop, and I cried more than I ever thought I would watching a documentary about food.
It’s no secret that I’ve slowly morphed into a person people may refer to as “green” or “eco-friendly” over the last few years. I blog about bits and pieces of that here when I talk about things like cloth diapering and making our own baby food. Well, I am absolutely honored and THRILLED to tell you all that this week I am the featured guest blogger over on Dr. Greene’s Perspectives blog. Yes, a man who had a profound impact on the way I want to feed my family reached out to me and wanted to hear what I have to say about the decisions we are making today to live healthier and smarter. I really don’t know how much cooler blogging can get from here.
You can check out the blog posts from Monday and Tuesday, and check back the rest of the week for the remaining three posts by going to http://Blogs.DrGreene.com/Perspectives.
Born Free, A natural baby product company that makes BPA free bottles and sippy cups, has reached out to partner with me on a few things, too. Become a fan of mine on Facebook and take a look at my wall posts. You’ll find a contest you can enter to win a Drinking Cup, which Kendall had the pleasure of trying out (Born Free sent the product to us at no cost). Also, in response to the FDA’s announcement today, January 19th, that they are now as concerned as the National Toxicology Program about the impact of BPA on human development, Born Free is sponsoring a Twitter Party all day on Wednesday, January 20th. If you Tweet, please join in!
I have big plans to blog all about the changes, big and small, we are hoping to make this year when it comes to what we eat as a family, and I hope many of you who’ve already told me how much these books and Food Inc. have changed your life will chime in and help me along. For starters can anyone tell me some great vegetarian recipe websites? We’re not going completely vegetarian, but like I said, we’re going to have to get damn creative with that produce.
Kendall is nearly 21 months old, and I’m proud to say he’s addicted to clementines.