26 April 2012

[talk: What Do You Do.]

Ok.  So - I thought I'd throw this post back at you, the reader, for some help.

I am far from a no sugar, no flour, only organic kinda gal ... but I'm kinda on the pathway.  More like a trying-to-make-better-choices-than-others-but-not-gonna-beat-myself-up-when-I-can't kinda gal.

I'm wondering how many moms out there are feeling like I am?  Like processed food is the most convenient but EVERYTHING is processed.  Dairy products, cereals and grains, meats, fruits and veggies ... they are all contaminated in one way or another.  Hormones, antibiotics, unsanitary conditions (like feces in the slaughter house ... hate to say it, but if you think it's NOT in our meat - well.  I think you might be wrong.)

I was watching a show about "Food Inc", which is a documentry.  The guy (who wrote this book) said that the super market doesn't sell food, but more like "edible food substitutes."  Yuck.  He said to "not eat what your great grandmother doesn't recognise (using the yogurt tubes as an example ...)".  To eat things that are seasonal - rather than eating foods that come from around the world, picked way too early, and gassed (that's right, GASSED) to have them shiny and ready for our own supermarket.

All this to say, that being a consumer is painful now.  Being a mom - making both economical and healthy AND time effecient decisions is a tricky thing.

So - what do you do?  Do you buy your meat elsewhere (like the farm, or butcher, rather than the supermarket ...)?  If so - WHERE??  I'm lost ... but I know that I want to feed my family grass feed beef, and free range chicken ... Do you buy organic?  Do you think it's a scam?  Do you buy what's in season locally, or do you buy whatever you need, whenever you need it?

Would love to hear your thoughts!!


Caroline said...

I hear you Tawn! We have the same struggles. We usually buy our meat from a local butcher shop. There are times though, when I just want to pop a frozen pizza or lasagna in the oven or get take out though :0)

Anonymous said...

We have been trying to eat real food lately and I've found 100daysofrealfood.com to be a great resource, as well as TheWholeFoodProject.com, which can also be found on facebook. Let's face it, though, we have a family of six and sometimes eating whole food is next to impossible. But we try as much as we can and feel so much better when we do!

Anonymous said...

I have not seen Food Inc, but I do think that although there is a lot of really great things to learn from movies like that, we do have to be careful not to be too carried away by the fear that they impose on our lives.

I too, am very interested in eating as natural and clean as possible. I think the more food that we can make at home from scratch, the better off we will be.

My parents live on acreage and raise 3 cows to split between all my siblings every year, so we are blessed with grass fed beef. Once they are no longer able to do that, we will begin to order a quarter or half a cow from a butcher, where they cows are grass fed and not injected with hormones.

I know that food tends to be cheaper in the States, but I typically don't shop there as their food regulations are not as strict as in Canada. I try and buy local and organic chicken when possible.

Most fruit and veg I would rather have local than organic because a lot of organic produce you buy (unless from a csa program or something similiar) are still sprayed with pesticides. Canada's regulations for fruit and veg is that they can't have any pesticides sprayed on them 2 weeks before picking/selling. So unless you are growing them yourself or buying them from the grower and can speak to them directly, there is no proof that they are organic, so I save my money and use it on better meat.

We also are trying to eliminate more wheat from our diet as a lot of modern wheat is hard on the body and digestive system. And for a few of us in our house, the less dairy we eat, the better we feel. So I bake a lot more with coconut oil and less with butter. We drink coconut milk rather than cows milk. And we limit our cheese.

I think you have to do what you can or at a level you are comfortble with. If you stress so much about it that you make yourself sick, you are kind of defeating the purpose ;)

That's where I'm at right now.


Shawna said...

Totally get it..it's a fine balance cause we could spend our mortgage payment on "real" food...and that's just not possible!

We have been moving towards organic where we can. And less processed where we can as well.

So here's what we've decided to do, I love going to the "farm market" but just because it's the "farm market" doesn't make it organic or better. So I shop where I know organic is cost effective and in season.

We buy our chicken @ the big box outlet, but it's non hormone chicken, same goes for our milk.

Beef, we buy real beef from our friends.

As for processed easy food, if it contains modified corn syrup we don't buy it...that's hard to find now a days and the only exception is pickles, can't find any that don't contain m.c.s.

I'm pretty good at making home made muffins, cookies, bars for lunches as I can sneak in zucchini & dates in them and they can't tell.

When it comes to baking I'll use almond meal, spelt flour, flax, coconut oil, greek yogurt & honey instead of enriched white flour, milk/oil and white sugar.

We still have flour & sugar, however I also bake cakes so I have to have it on hand. Flour is unbleached though thus a little better...

I find that my I often have to go back to my roots (when I grew up) and remember what my Mom gave to us back then. Dried apricots instead of a processed "fruit" somethingorother. My kids don't fight me on it, not one bit, however they also think pre-packaged apple sauce is a treat! Plus my littlest took a huge bite of a green pepper while in the supermarket today - geesh!

Here's to being healthy and teaching our kids how to balance food & health!

Alison said...

This one hits close to home for me because I have spent a LOT of time researching. I definitely think being a mom in general is about, doing what you gotta do for everyone to be ok, which means sometimes for mommy to be ok it means not staying up until 1 in the morning to bake healthy alternatives. But generally I put a high high value into the nutrition that goes into my kids and our bodies. I will also say it helps A LOT to have a husband who is willing to have a great attitude about eating less meat and healthy things like quinoa. I know that's a hard part of it for lots of moms.
My rules: I buy eggs from the farm, literally, from an old lady on a farm. If you look, you will find. We don't eat a lot of meat. But the meat we eat comes straight from a small farm to the Farmers Market. It costs more than Safeway but we buy way less of it.
I buy almost all my produce from the FM. Priority 1 is local. But I live in the prairies. So summer is easy. In the winter when it's never local, I buy mostly organic. My kids only EVER eat organic dairy because it's seriously disturbing what goes into non organic dairy, ESPECIALLY if you buy it from the States. And we use no sugar at home. I bake with alternatives, agave, honey, maple syrup etc.
The balance to this is that I figure we eat 75% of our food at home. So I can control that and make it as healthy as possible. Yes it takes a little extra time and planning to have homemade granola bars/crackers etc. But when we're out, I'm not judgy or obnoxious. If my kids have a treat here and there, fine! Because it's not all the time and it's not normal life. My kids would never think you have to finish every meal with something sweet(even though I'd like to!) and they don't even know there are alternatives to water or milk.
Bottom line, we can't fix it all, but we do what we can and hopefully it will make a difference to our little people!

Ok last thing - I used to think healthy food was really expensive too, but I was really challenged about how much food we threw out. Most people can buy WAY less food than they do and waste a lot less by planning and being creative. The large amount of money saved in not wasting so much completely offsets the cost of healthy food. We usually can get away without throwing ANY food products away. honestly the only food we throw away is processed stuff that sits in the pantry for too long. But that took some practice.

alison said...

oh geez that was a long comment. now I'm embarassed.

Tawn said...

LOVE all your comments!! thanks ... so much wisdom, I need to grab a pen :)