4/8/09

WFMW - Sorta Earthy

Wednesday~April 8, 2009

"You seem like you're pretty earthy," she said. And I paused a second and said, "Yes, I guess I am. I mean...yeah, I'm crunchy, but not totally."

I wrote a post recently for WFMW about healthier snacking for kids. In it I mentioned that we as a family are not entirely organic, but making healthy choices by limiting our chemical, pesticide, and additive intake is very important to me.

(the sticker reads, "Don't panic I'm organic.")

And even though it's important to me, I still find it to be overwhelming sometimes. The food prices are higher and sometimes more limited and difficult to find. I'm forgetful and disorganized so I'm not too swell at finding the best prices and coupons to make organic living more affordable. And sometimes I'm just plain in a hurry, so I don't read labels, I simply grab and go.

One thing that helps me is Mama Manifesto, the site I contribute some of my posts to. What I learn there helps me to keep focused on the most important aspects of healthy living without making it all seem impossible. For example, there are many fruits that are much higher in pesticides, holding in chemicals that other fruits don't absorb in the same way. You can click on the Mama Manifesto link above to see that list. (There are also loads of healthy recipes over on the Mama Manifesto - there's a link that takes you straight to all the recipes at the top of the page.)

I learned that, as I had suspected, apples are really high on that list, so I make sure to buy organic apples every time. There are other fruits that I occasionally buy non-organic based on price or the store I'm in (if there's no organic available). (Like avocados, they have a much lower chemical count.)

I also do my best to have all crackers and snacks come from organic sources. We love Annie's, Newman's Own, and TLC products for snacks. There's a lot of variety and the kids love them all. The reason I try to keep snacks organic is because of the sheer amount my boys take in per day. There is no end to their snacking, so it gives me peace of mind that what they're putting away (in LARGE doses daily) is much healthier than most snacks out there.

The other area I try hard to keep organic is dairy. This one is important to me because I started to hear stories and read studies about the early onset of puberty in kids today being related to the increase of hormones in our products. Organic dairy is a simple way to limit that, buying milk, cheese, etc. with no added hormones. I'm pretty sure the teen years will hold enough hormones of their own.

Like I mentioned earlier, we're not entirely organic, and I'm OK with that. There's a lot of pressure to completely change your lifestyle these days, and that can leave a mother feeling like she doesn't measure up. I think we all need to remember the old "everything in moderation" saying and simply do our best.

We often find that some of the changes we make that were supposed to be healthy actually turn out to not be healthy. So we each need to simply make educated choices for our unique family needs. After all, there's no way to live a completely healthy lifestyle, we'd have to stop breathing. And that sounds counter-productive. But we can change little things, and keep hoping that they'll make a big difference.

At least, that's what works for me.
Visit Kristen at We Are That Family for more Works-For-Me ideas.

29 clicked right here to comment:

Sara@i.Sass said...

FOr the most part, I foolishly, thought the organic label was just a way to get you to pay a higher price for food. I mean the strawberries over here look better then those higher priced "organic" ones!
I am slowly begining to understand the importance of organic. I've decided I'll swith my snacks to newmans and Annies, I can find them easy enough. But I want to send out an "ANGRY" complaint.
The fruits and veggies offered around here SUCK!
There are very little organics offered at Sam's or Cub ar Rainbow. (Rainbow being the absolute worse!) Where do you FIND good produce????? Please note I do NOT repeat do NOT want to drive downtoen twice weekly for farmers market. And Dairy? Crap, I've been feeding my kids non-organic stuff this whole time. Money was always the issue. "this one's cheaper."
I feel like a big ole failure now!
Again, I say oh CRAP!
Thanks for the awareness. Now I've got to get my sh*t together and make some plans and do some research. :)
PS in no way was this frustration geared toward you, I don't wish to kill the messenger, I want to kill the produce people and government that lets us poison ourselves.

Kristina P. said...

This reminds me of one of the PostSecrets I was going to post, that said, "It's not always Organic."

I guess I like a little pesticide with my breakfast. :)

Heather of the EO said...

Oh Sara, don't panic!

I was hoping to clearly relay the message that I don't think we should panic. I don't think you've been poisoning your family at all. It's always good to simply educate yourself on both sides of the issue. Sometimes if something SAYS organic (like Kristina pointed out) it's even a lie. It can be confusing. I think it would be good to read some of the posts and links on Mama Manifesto. There's some really good stuff out there for common sense people (articles and such).

And about where to go around here -- I'll email you :)

Heather of the EO said...

Kristina, ya smart ass. :)

But it is true, some of those packages say organic and it's a big fat lie. That's part of the reason I'm only sorta earthy :)

Muthering Heights said...

I know how you feel! Making those healthy choices is important...even if it does hurt right now with the rising food prices....*groan*...

Elizabeth said...

My thoughts exactly! Moderation really is the key to most everything in our lives: t.v., junk food, etc. We have some good friends who are farmers, and they have so much insight into the whole organic/non-organic debate. Like you said, some things matter more than others. I found an awesome list yesterday that showed the pesticide content of certain fruits and vegetables. I'll find it and send it to you. And poor Sara, I know how she feels! Any thoughts on convincing your husband to do more organic (especially milk for the baby!)? Mine is very, very skeptical, and I am very, very frustrated!

Kimberly said...

Love the sticker!

We're working on a one-thing-at-a-time philosophy. My husband isn't too fond of change, so I just replace one non-organic item with an organic alternative when we run out of it. Moderation combined with changing over gradually has made it more doable for us.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

You KNOW I am all about the SORTA.

:)

Kazzy said...

I have never been good enough at this. My sisters-in-law are all great at label-reading, etc, and I am mediocre. Very mediocre. I am inspired to get better at it.

a Tonggu Momma said...

We've become more and more organic. I'd like to say it's because I'm such a great mother (snort), but that would be a lie. It's because I'm allergic to sulfites and that is used on almost EVERYTHING these days, including produce. Can we please have some non-chemical food, y'all??? Please?!!!!!

Mary said...

In theory I like to buy organic (and preferably local). But that often doesn't happen since the organic and local label often results in price gouging around here. If I'm going to buy corn on the cob and I have to choose between a dozen cobs + pesticides for $2, or a dozen cobs, no pesticides for $18 (I kid you not) - I'm going to hope the pesticides don't kill me because the alternative is to eat an awful lot less. Mind you, that might not be a bad thing...

T & T Livesay said...

I have no shot. I am not even remotely trying.

Melanie J said...

Yeah, organic is so expensive and I'm so cheap that it's hard to shell out for it when the milk is like, $2 more. But then I remember the long term benefits and it makes me feel a little better.

Angie said...

Like you, I don't do everything organic, but I do all my dairy w/o hormones, all my meat is natural w/o hormones or antibiotics and I avoid the "dirty dozen" (only now it's 15, I think) fruits and veggies.

I used to get stressed over how much to do and how expensive it all is and what else I should be doing, then I read a great post about how we do what we can and we trust God with the rest. So now, I do what I can and I trust God with the rest. :)

Annette Lyon said...

One thing I've learned from my rather crunchy mother is that some of the fruits with high chemical counts have the chemicals almost entirely in the peels. So non-organic apples are okay if you peel them first. Bananas have a high content--but again, in their peels.

One little thing that can help, anyway. :)

Debbie said...

We are somewhere in the middle of the road, I think. Heck, I don't know where I am! But we try to avoid things that are known to be the worst offenders. And we try to grow some of them ourselves. With varying success:)

Lisa said...

A post that I've needed to hear! We too try to eat organic, but after meat, milk, apples, & potatoes we have to choose depending on budget! It's all about making the best decision we can & not sweating the other stuff! Thanks for the post!

Coco said...

I posted a same theme for this week's WFMW minus picture of your adorable baby.

I'm also very careful with dairy products. We have not drank milk for almost 6 months (we drink organic soymilk)- I always hesitate buying organic milk because of its price.

Rachel said...

Heather - Since I know you're in the area, I thought I'd mention we buy our meat from Anderson Farms. It's a small family farm and all grass-fed (and finished!)animals (chicken, pork, and beef) The beef is the BEST! Check them out at www.andersonfarm.us They deliver to the cities though we go there and buy larger portions cuz its cheaper. They are also believers too, which makes us feel good. They have an open house coming up in April I think.

We do organic raw milk - which we can get even cheaper than organic pasteurized, homogenized milk at another farm. The benefits are great! I noticed some comments about drinking soymilk - which is dangerous too because of the estrogens in it - does the same thing that the hormones in conventional milk do to your body.

We try to be as "crunchy" as possible, foregoing other things we could buy to stay healthy. But I don't get obsessed, it's too stressful. My biggest concern is all the genetical modified food out there and only organic is labeled GMO-free. I can only wonder how that's going to affect the health of future generations.

Rachel said...

Also wanted to say that many things bought local are organic, but the process to certification is lengthy and very expensive which deters small farmers from going organic.

blueviolet said...

Are you kidding me with the milk and the early puberty? It's all my mom's fault that I had no boobs until high school (and still don't) because she made us drink hormone free Sanilac! How dare she!

Jennifer said...

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Thanks for the link to that site--I will check it out. I keep meaning to buy organic milk b/c Pickle drinks SO much of it--but I keep forgetting. Thanks for a great reminder!!

wendy said...

Sometimes the whole eating healthy thing gets overwhelming. We (well at least me--my husband is the WORST junk foo eater) I try and buy healthier stuff for us/him. and Yes, why is the healthiest foods for us the most expensive. I am just glad I am not trying to raise kids now with the high grocery costs. I love the sticker on your baby!!

Kristen Andrews said...

I hear you it is hard to go completly organic but I do my best too but didn't know apples are high on the list thanks for sharing

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

Very well said. It is indeed overwhelming. Some families are so organic and all natural. Than I look at my house and alarms start going off, lol! Everything in moderation is key, of course it didn't count when I ate that bag of Cadbury mini eggs this morning, but anyway..!

We are slowly working our way to better eating and being more green, but wow, what a change. What in the world were our lives like back then? lol!

LexiconLuvr said...

I'm a sinner...

Kristen said...

It is so hard! I think produce is the most difficult, because the price is so much more. We've been trying to go to the farmer's market more. But it's always a negotiation between cost, convenience, and health!

Brooke said...

I've never bought organic. I had no idea about the apples. You have certainly made me more aware. Though, organic isn't readily available where I live, I do go to Utah fairly often, I'll have to look for snacks and such there. Thanks for the info!

Eowyn said...

This is one place where my husband and I disagree. So, we just eat what we can, when we can.

Good post though.

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