Sunday, January 31, 2010

On my mind this week...

This past week I watched an episode of Oprah that discussed the movie Food, Inc. Here is a trailer for the movie. Just these 3 minutes can shake you and make you think!

Her show also had Michael Pollan, Author of the book The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. He also has other amazing books - NONE of them I have read. I know my brother speaks very highly of this man and his thoughts.

I was very impressed with how Oprah approached the topics. She did not make you feel "bad" for the choices you make. She admits to enjoying meat - while featuring people who swear by vegan diets. Her goal is always to bring an awareness to the topic she shares. And this show she brought an awareness of food and eating in America. After this episode I had so many thoughts running through my head. My heart was pounding because this topic can be sooo overwhelming. As a person who loves to eat and someone who wants to eat healthy I will totally admit that ignorance is a little bliss in this area of life. I have not seen the movie yet, partly because I think it will be too much for me to digest and I will be so overwhelmed with all that I DON'T do or what I CAN'T do. There are so many obstacles to eating healthy - money, time, children, convenience, resources, and knowledge.

After much thought I decided to feel good about the choices I make.

  • We buy eggs that are produced from cage free birds that aren't treated with antibiotics and hormones (I know these birds get to run around - that they CAN run around, because they are being fed diets that give them strength). 
  • We are not the house to be at for snack time. I do buy several processed snacks for my boys but I also love to bake with them and I believe, eating a piece of homemade banana bread or even a homemade chocolate chip cookie is way healthier than a bag of fruit snacks. 
  • We do our best buying organic milk. I am very adamant that our boys drink organic milk (although, lately Charley has been drinking regular milk). However, after being reminded of the reasons why I buy organic I will be buying organic milk from now on. 
  • In the summer we visit the farmer's market and enjoy local produce and I now try to freeze and can things so that we are enjoying them all winter long with out worries of preservatives or pesticides. 
  • I appreciate the fresh veggies and the little bit of time it takes to prepare it knowing that we are getting something real and not processed and canned. (I do buy canned goods too - but I always opt for the fresh.)
  • And I believe I have challenged myself lately to make more homemade items like mac and cheese, popcorn in our popper, bread, and jam.  This week Charley and I are going to give bagels a try.  I figure this will keep Charley and I busy for an entire afternoon.  We will use this recipe that another blog I came across this weekend shared.

I have been writing about shopping frugal and I realized that being frugal does not mean letting go of standards and health. One of the facts they shared on Oprah was the fact that a box of candy or a bag of chips is often times cheaper than a pear. And buzzing through a drive thru to pick up a happy meal is cheaper than going to the store and buying a package of strawberries. I do take my kids for happy meals - from time to time. However,  I am proud of myself for always having fresh fruit and veggies in our fridge. 

Michael Pollan, who has spent 20 years reporting on food, shared five of his many rules for eating:

1: Eat food .

2: Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.

3: Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.

4: Eat only foods that will eventually rot.

5: Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.

All of these rules make sense.  They are easy to understand.  I am going to think about them this coming week.

We can not afford to buy all organic or free range raised meat. But I am vowing to make sure that during my frugal grocery shops I will make sure that I am making choices that are quality and sound with my beliefs.

It is about being aware and being okay with the choices we make. And even if it is just one meal or one item that we choose to think differently about - we are taking a stand and voting for food that is produced to a standard of our desire.

If you missed this episode of Oprah and want to read up on what you missed you can go here.  I am just sharing something that really made me think this past week.  It is something huge and too overwhelming to take on all at once.  But it is something that I want to remember and start considering.  Just. considering.  I do not judge the choices that other people make whether they spend all their money on organic or if they choose to not buy any.  And it isn't only about can shop local, fresh, free range, etc.  It is a choice - that is what is so fantastic about living in America - YOU have the right to choose  - and what you eat is a choice you make 3 times a day 365 days a year!


Barb said...

Food, Inc. is on my Netflix Queue. I didn't see the episode on TV but I'm glad Oprah didn't make you feel guilty. Keep up the happy & healthy eating!

Anonymous said...

as a registered dietitian, i really do think you are doing a good job to listen, consider and make choices appropriately. remembering to do the fun splurgy things now and then is important--it's what keeps us human. other things to consider is the great stress and assortment in front of us that our great grandparents didn't have to consider. our world has gotten more complex in that we now have a huge array of items to choose from at the store, restaurants etc. you're doing the right thing by continuing to learn and consider the things you've learned and then make educated choices for your family. bottom line-for disease prevention---remember it's the daily patterns that matter: like breakfast, lunch and dinner choices...not the occasional ice cream or happy meal.
happy eating!

Amy@NewNostalgia said...

Great post! Good for you, taking steps instead of getting overwhelmed. I, too, blogged about that oprah show, it really excited me. We have been on a journey of eating healthier for the last few years now...we took very baby steps and still are.
I do think happy meals will always be a part of our lives, just not very often!!:) Keep up the great posts!

For the Love of Naps - Sarah said...

Mom - make sure to let me know what you think of the movie. I am very tempted to go get it...I know they have it in the Redbox thingies.

Peggy - your thoughts are right on. And good to remember. It is all about balance and not overdoing one thing. We walked out of target today with an organic free range chicken, a box of frozen potstickers, and a box of Nemo fruit snacks is all about balance!

Heather said...

I watched this too on Oprah. Always something I have thought about and try to do what works for us.


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