Food, Inc.

Ever since Elijah started eating solid foods I have really tried to be knowledgeable about what we are eating and to teach him healthy eating habits. I have struggled with my weight my whole life and I don't want him to have to fight that battle, but, it isn't just about weight. I don't want my sons little innocent body to be full of chemicals. Actually, I don't want mine, or Jeff's, or Eli's or anyone else's body to be full of chemicals either. I buy organic when possible (not always the easiest thing in Butler, PA), I try to feed my family whole foods, and, when we do eat "packages" foods I look for as few ingredients as possible with no high fructose corn syrup or ingredients that I can't pronounce. Don't get me wrong; we have the occasional junk, usually when Elijah is sleeping. I am great at eating healthy.... it's the "extras" that come after the healthy foods that are bad for me!
So, last night Jeff and I watched "Food, Inc.". A very disturbing but excellent documentary that is trying to encourage people to know where their food comes from. It was very eye opening about alot of things but, for me, especially about where our meat comes from and the process that it goes through from being a baby animal to being my dinner. We don't eat very much beef but we eat chicken very frequently. I usually purchase frozen chicken breasts that have no added hormones. Apparently, that isn't enough. I am now faced with some questions that I am really trying to think through....
  • How much am I willing to pay for local, healthy, "properly" fed and butchered meat? ("Sorry your college fund isn't bigger Eli, hope you enjoyed the expensive chicken and beef.")
  • How much additional time, effort, energy am I willing to spend to get better meat products over just buying fresh or frozen at the grocery store?
  • Do I think it is that important or am I going to be satisfied with the efforts that we already make and not worry about it.
  • Do I need to put more emphasis on finding meats that meet the standards that I think I am looking for or more emphasis on reducing the amount of meat in our diet?
  • Where can I find local chicken that has not gone through a processing plant (I have found several local places for grass-fed beef but no luck with chicken)?
Lots to think about! I don't really know what I think about these questions yet. I do know that it is something that I feel like I have to consider as a responsible consumer and as a responsible parent. I know that sometime in Elijah's life, someone will take him to McDonalds and let him get whatever he wants. I know that we eat most of our meals at camp in the summer (where organic isn't financially realistic), I know that we will still go out to restaurants or be in situations where someone else is preparing our food. I feel like I need to do everything that I can when I am the one responsible for feeding my family so that there is a healthy balance to the occasions when I am not in complete control of our food.

It makes me sad that we have gotten to this point, who decided that grocery stores full of mostly "fake" foods is best for us? Why does fake food taste so good (I am ashamed to admit that I am a big fan of artificial cheese flavored things)? I feel blessed that Jeff and I can afford to spend a little more on groceries for more healthy food but upset that money has to be a consideration when it comes to our health.

I'll keep you posted... don't really have any answers right now.


  1. Hey Deb! One way we can cut down on some of the costs would be to purchase in bulk with a larger number of individuals purchasing together. The price may be cheaper to buy the whole cow verse a side of cow. If you find a place to purchase chicken I would be interested in contributing, as far as beef, I would purchase a small amount if the opportunity was available.

  2. hi deb. thanks for becoming a fan of my photography site! i LOVE the way you think about food-i think the same way. in case you haven't read it, read michael pollan's book "in defense of food." he also has a new one out that i haven't read yet (but i'm dying to) called "food rules." i'm going to check out this real food challenge now. thanks for the tip!

  3. Hey... I saw your link to your blog on facebook a few days ago and finally got some time to sit down and check it out. I love reading blogs. :)

    We watched Food Inc not too long ago and it was definitely educating and has us thinking about our food too. Although it appears that you have already gone farther with it than we have! Go you! I enjoyed reading your posts. I think I'll be a follower.