I was able to get away for a day this weekend with some girlfriends. The talk on the ride up to where we were going (to shop, of course) spanned a wide range of topics. All four of us are moms to young-ish children (early elementary to babies), and we all needed the time away.
While most of the topics centered around our kids, their schooling, their needs, their Christmas presents, it was the topic of food that made me want to sit down and get my thoughts on (cyber) paper.
"I need more opinions, Emily!" my friend advised me. Now that's something you don't hear every day, especially to some one like me!! Anyway, my friend Katie wanted to know my take on her baby food she was spooning into her sweet baby boy's mouth on our trek to IKEA. Baby food? My take? Ummm...give it to a baby?
No, she wasn't needing that basic of information, but she wanted to know my opinion on baby food that was 1) not organic and 2) not something she made herself. Now, as opinionated as I am about those who want to cram the organic is the best and only food you should feed your family nonsense down your throat, I am not opposed to organic food, per se. If I were to make a statement that all organic food or farmers are bad and not necessary in our world, that would be like me saying that the Catholic church is less Christian than a Methodist church. We're all on the same team, we just have a different way of getting there. I don't think Katie is less of a mother because she 1) does not feed her kids 100% organic food all the time and 2) doesn't make her own baby food. She's doing what she deems the best for her kids, and who am I to tell her how to do it?
That being said, I do believe that your choices for your food should be based on something bigger than pretty packaging or what Dr. Oz says (have I mentioned I like to roll my eyes at him now???). I myself succumb to prices, but, take today for example. Amelia and Jack and I were grocery shopping. Amelia wanted strawberries, which are absolutely not in season, therefore are pricey and probably from Mexico. However, when she's choosing strawberries over doughnuts or chips or ice cream...wouldn't you pay $6.00 for a pint? I did. I would rather err on the side of fruit that comes from somewhere else, that I will wash, than a processed snack any day.
Organic vs. nonorganic, fortunately, is not a fight I have to be prepared for very often, other than in casual conversation, but it is certainly a buzz in more urban areas. We around here have to hunt for grocery stores with a big organic food section. Selection is limited, and restaurants are not necessarily deeming themselves better because of their use of cage free chicken, grass fed beef, and/or organic produce. However, my friend Rachel's brother-in-law (is that right, Rach?) is opening a bar and grill in Chicago, and will be marketing himself as a granola cruncher, I mean, organic, cage free type of place.
Rachel, being the Midwestern farm girl she is, asked him if that was necessary, all that crazy organic marketing stuff. He answered yes, that it would help his business.
Seriously? Just putting those words in your menu or on your restaurant website or whatever would help you get more customers.
City folks, listen up...it is not IMPERATIVE that all of your chickens are cage free for you to survive or just enjoy a chicken sandwich. Folks, grass fed beef is stringy and not as flavorful as our corn and grass and some times feed-fed beef, but I know I'm biased. My point is, just because you have a cage free bar and grill, doesn't mean that it's food is better and more nutritious. It's just marketing, and if you eat it with fries and a beer, you're not going to be healthy anyway, so who cares if it's cage free?
I am going to form a more distinct opinion on this, thanks to Katie. I am going to do some researching on why my beef tastes better. Tonight, in fact, I'll get started by enjoying my chili soup, corn bread made with eggs that are not cage free, and my expensive strawberries.