You Are Not Alone

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Grass Roots

I was totally ignorant of how our food was treated, slaughtered, processed and packaged before I had Colin. To me, eating more vegetables, small amounts of lean protein, whole grain carbohydrates and little sugars or fruits, was healthy.

I had lost over sixty pounds cutting out the refined carbohydrates, sugars and unnecessary foods from my diet. I discovered a love for meals prepared with olive oil and herbs garnishing and enhancing the vegetables and lean meats I consumed. I was a believer.

Mark and I would discuss and debate the whole, “Organic” movement. We both saw cost and fad, and decided, (as we do with many, many fads) to bypass this particular one as well. Who wants to be, “suckered” into purchasing food that is labeled, “Organic” or, as we saw it, COSTLY? Not us!

After Colin was born, I found myself with fifty-five pounds of baby weight gained during pregnancy. While I was pregnant, I had little desire or energy to cook fresh meals and wanting to live a better lifestyle. I knew that food was my key to weight loss, but even now, after nine months, it still seems a great challenge to prepare meals from scratch.

When I think about how I feel, I see a bunch of excuses, and now that I know what I know, and have done what I have done, I know for a fact that they ARE excuses, and nothing more.

It’s personal. It’s always personal for ME. Eat whatever YOU want, I don’t care. Why? It’s your money, your time, your choice. I really don’t care what you eat. I don’t care what happens, or doesn’t happen with your body. I’m not judging you as a person or a parent. I do not have a personal, passionate ambition and goal to reach out to you, your family, and your children to change your lives. I tried that, when I was a newly minted Mormon, and I saw where THAT got me. So, do me a favor, and take away any feelings of judgment and subsequent anger, outrage, affront, unfairness and burn it to ash, because I don’t feel any of that toward YOU.

I write this, because I’m tired of the judgment THAT I GET from other people. I’m tired of the scoffing, sneering, sarcasm, snobbish, elitist and passive aggressive B.S. I get from people who have any hang-up’s on the fact that I seek out food grown, nurtured, harvested and slaughtered in a way that harkens back to a type of farming before corporate America got involved.

If you want to know, if you want to learn, if you want to care, read, “Fast Food Nation”, watch, “Supersize Me” or, “Food, inc.” or search the web, for trusted sources of information, and you’ll find it easily, because it’s a hot topic right now.

I watched and read all of it, and I read and watch much more. I get my information from various sources. Besides the information I get from the outside world, I have myself to listen to and trust. I may not be a college graduate, but I am certainly not incapable of seeking out various sources of information and knowledge, expanding my education and being an informed individual, even if it makes me uncomfortable or inspires me to act in a way that is socially unacceptable.

I’m still learning, still changing. My Husband and I have regular discussions and debates on the Organic movement. He’s pretty skeptical and worries about being suckered into a fad. I share some of his skepticism and he does keep me from going to extremes by helping me think out the pro’s and con’s, as well as helping me to slowly help our family evolve.

We don’t have plans on going extreme. We don’t plan to deny our Son. We do plan to make better choices, and teach our Son how to make better choices as well. Mark and I both have struggled with our weight, and do not want to pass on those struggles to Colin. If we start him out with good food choices, it won’t be hard to help him continue to make them for the rest of his life. We don’t plan to deny him sugar, pizza, ice cream, etc. but plan to help him see them as treats, to be enjoyed on occasion, or when he goes to visit someone else’s house. We don’t want a rebellious uprising on our hands when he hits puberty, and a subsequent gorge of food choices that may impair his health. Mark and I feel that if we help ourselves, and therefore help Colin, make better food choices while balancing them with, “fun” foods on occasion, that he’ll just naturally prefer to eat nutritious foods. I feel that’s what parenting is all about anyway, raising your kid to make wise choices without you having to be prompt them, or be present. I only get MAYBE eighteen years to nurture and teach him, I aim to make the most of it.

I’ve learned much about the Organic movement, enough to realize that, “Organic” has become an, “Industry” term and it’s far better for me to support local farmer’s, make wise decisions when it comes to what I decide to purchase that is, “Organic”. I’ve realized that I don’t have to buy everything, “Organic” because it’s better to focus on, “Real” food. “Organic” to me just means going back to how farming was before there was all this technology that produced chemical fertilizer and pesticides. “Organic” is the way farming was before the turn of the century. “Organic” is eschewing GMO’s and supporting local farmers. “Organic” is allowing animals, or their by-products, to be produced for consumption in the way nature intended. Animals should not be kept in pens, grown so fast that they can’t support their bodies, waiting out the rest of their lives knee deep in their own feces. Cows eat grass, chickens eat bugs and grains, pigs eat bugs, grains and compost, and on and on. They need sunlight, fresh air, and the opportunity to be what they are.

I’m not going to buy Organic Pizza, because what is the point of that? I’m not going to buy Organic pop tarts, because that’s just silly. I’m not going to buy Organic soup, when I can just make it myself. I will buy Farmer Owned, Organic Milk. I will buy Organic meat. I won’t buy produce that has pesticides and GMO’s and crap on them that can’t be washed away or avoided. I will look at package labels and make sure that what I buy is actually Organic, not just the USDA standard, because the USDA is limited and can’t really keep up and govern. I will buy local, as much as I can.

I’m still learning, and I continue to keep learning and do my research. I will make mistakes, but I plan on learning from them. I like to pass on what I’ve learned, because it may help others who are trying to make similar choices, or may not be aware of what is going on with their food. As always, everyone, regardless of where they live or what they believe in, has the personal freedom to choose. Choose to read what I write, or choose not to. I choose to write what I write, and will continue to do so. I pass judgment on myself, and no one else.

If you want to pass on an article or resource, I am perfectly accepting of that. If you desire to bash my beliefs, I only ask that you first look at the feelings and reasons why you may feel that way, and make sure that you aren’t projecting anything on me that may deserve some personal introspection. I quite often bypass personal introspection in favor of passion, but it’s something I’m working on. I am a hypocrite sometimes, but I work hard not to be, because that is not a virtue I value. I try to put myself in as many shoes I can fit into, sometimes it’s good to be reminded that I have yet another pair to try, even if I don’t always appreciate the recommendation at first. Still, it’s a far cry from making one aware of knowledge they may not have possessed prior, and attacking them or responding to their feelings in a way that communicates that you think they are stupid and you are smart and somehow superior.

I don’t feel superior to anyone. Sometimes I feel that I make healthier, happier choices than others, and wish they had the insight to do the same, but I never feel superior. I’m on the same road as everyone else, we’re all treading the same dirt, we just see our paths differently, and I am not only OK with that, I fully support it.

We all just want to be content and accepted in the end, don’t we? If we’re understood even better, but that’s just a bonus, not a requirement.
One Love.

No comments:

Post a Comment