Are you part of the “Organic Mommy Mafia?” I can’t help but feel a little offended that I would be related to the mafia because I care about the food that my child eats, after reading this post.
Naturally, I had to write a rebuttal because that’s what I do when I am passionate about things. Plus, I truly feel like us “natural” folks are misunderstood and there are a few points that I need to express my feelings about.
The Problem is Most Kids Are Eating JUNK
One of the biggest issues I have with this particular post is when she states:
Take the most common mommy worry — pesticides. According to the calculator at Safefruitsandveggies.com, a project of the nonprofit Alliance for Food and Farming, “a child could consume 1,508 servings of strawberries in one day without any effect even if the strawberries have the highest pesticide residue recorded for strawberries by USDA.”
Or how about this: “A teen could consume 206 servings of peaches in one day without any effect even if the peaches have the highest pesticide residue recorded for peaches by USDA.” (source)
Alright, so here is the problem that I have after reading this snippet. The fact is that MOST kids do NOT eat 1,508 servings of strawberries in a year. MOST kids don’t eat 208 servings of peaches in a year. What MOST kids DO eat is junk food; fast food joints, boxed foods, processed meats and cheese. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows in children 2-18 years old, half of empty calories come from six foods: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk. (source) And what makes up most of these foods? Hard to pronounce ingredients, additives, hormones to just name a few.
Tell me, when is the last time you have been able to find diglyceride in your kitchen cabinet? Or when the last time you made a recipe that contained erythritol? How can our bodies possibly understand how to recognize and properly digest these “foods”?
But not only can you find ingredients that you need a college degree to know how to pronounce, you’ll also find artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, additives, chemicals, genetically modified organisms– did I miss anything? And if these ingredients were not so bad, then why on earth do companies like Kellogg’s make products that are shipped to Europe with different ingredient lists then the ones found in America? If you guessed the products sent to Europe don’t have anything artificial in them, you guessed right.
And when it comes to the argument on pesticides, sometimes I feel like we lose sight of our common sense. Yes, it’s always good to back things up with science but let’s face it, it’s hard to trust scientific studies. There are so many contradicting studies and there are also great possibilities that many studies are tweaked to be beneficial to Big Food companies. What most “non-organic” people fail to realize is that many of these foods are genetically modified to have the pesticide IN them. Yes, e-ver-y living cell in that piece of corn (which can be found in over 80% of processed foods) has been genetically engineered so that when a bug bites the corn, their stomachs burst from the inside out. There is a HUGE difference between having the pesticide on the fruit or vegetable and having the pesticide built in to the food.
While there are many speculations about whether or not this is harmful to humans, there have been multiples studies suggesting that genetically modified genes are horizontally transferred into our blood stream. For example, in Canada, researchers found Cry1Ab, a specific strain of BT toxin, in 93% of maternal blood samples, 80% in fetal cord samples and 69% of non-pregnant women blood samples. (source) This means that not only is the BT toxin surviving in our gut, it’s transferring into our bloodstream and into the bloodstream of our unborn children! To learn more about GMOs and how you can avoid them click here.
So, bringing it back to the pesticides, common sense tells me that if I eat an apple which has not been sprayed with any chemicals, it is probably better for me and my family than eating an apple that has indeed been sprayed with chemicals. This is regardless if scientific studies state that organic foods are no more nutritionally exceptional.
“Organic Moms” Are Not Elitists
I honestly can’t stand when I hear that families who choose to buy organic foods and do their due diligence in making sure their children eat food that is organic, that these families are considered elitists and snobs. My family makes less than 35k a year and we have to sacrifice many things in order to maintain our real food diet. Yes, organic foods are expensive which is why it is important to know how to shop for organic. We do this because it’s important to us. The fact of the matter is that parents who choose to buy organic (whether that is exclusively or part-time) do not buy it because they consider themselves elitists or snobs. “Organic Mommy Mafia” members have done hours upon hours of research because they are legitimately concerned with what is happening with our food and only want to do what is right for their families.
Many mothers put their children on non-GMO, organic food diets because they literally see a difference in their children’s behavior, attitude, and well-being. Many mothers put their children on non-GMO, organic food diets because they literally see their children heal from diseases and disorders that were never relieved by drugs. Might I add I believe it is unfair and disrespectful for the author to call out a mom who believes food laced with additives, artificial junk and GMOs makes her son’s ADHD worse. The author makes this mom out to be a nut job by saying “a stray Goldfish or Cheerio might set him off.” Who knows what kind of hard journey that mother and her family has been on and the fact that non-GMO food has helped her son is a miracle — not something that should be taken as a joke.
If you take the time and ask people how they feel after switching over to an organic, non-GMO diet you will hear nothing but positive. You go on non-GMO diet for a month then switch back over to eating junk. Then report back and tell me how you feel. Only then can you make a judgement.
Yes, There is Still Organic Food That is Not Good For You
Unfortunately when people talk about organics, they assume that in order to eat healthy, all food consumed must be organic. That is furthest from the truth! It’s about buying organic selectively and knowing which foods are necessary to spend the extra buck on. It’s about skipping the $4 bag of organic chips and making your own at home. It’s not about buying organic processed food because yes, there is organic processed food that is just as bad as conventional processed food. The only difference is there is an organic certification and higher price tag (and yes, organic companies are banking on that but what company doesn’t do that?).
Many of us “organic mommy mafia” members strive for beyond organic. We look for food that is made with wholesome ingredients and ingredients that can be reproduced in our own kitchens. We look for food that is not injected with antibiotics, hormones, or are living in miserable conditions. Whether or not you believe that factory farms are bad, there is truly a difference in which the way pastured animals are raised versus factory farm animals. How would you feel if you were living in a crowded environment, in which everyone around you was sick, tired and unhappy and that you could never express your true inner self (for example, a cow peacefully grazing on pasture)?
Parents Should Be Respected. Period.
Speaking as a mother who lost friends because of my efforts to educate about food choices, all I wanted to do was help. I never pushed the issue on them, I just stated facts and shared my experiences. If moms felt guilty after speaking to me, it was not because I made them feel bad. It’s not because I am insulting the way they live. The wave of guilt sets in because most likely they know that there are better choices for their children but they think it is impossible to live the lifestyle I am. So, instead of inquiring and seeking help and guidance of ways to slowly implement healthier choices, moms let the guilt eat at them which turns them bitter. Then they feel “organic” moms are part of the mafia and believe it is one way or the highway when really it is the “non-organic” moms that have closed their minds and made judgement already. Yes, there are “organic” moms that are extremist but it is not the majority.
What people fail to realize is that the “organic” moms were once “non-organic” moms. Now, most of the time us “organic” mommys feel like we’re looked at as if we have three heads. We feel like we are criticized and scoffed at because our way of living is non-main stream and misunderstood. We often feel like we need to tip toe around people’s emotions because if we say one thing about organic or beyond organic food, the other party will feel insulted.
But putting everything aside, the bottom line is that parents should be respected regardless of their food choices. If you believe that feeding your children goldfish and cheerios is good and nutritional, then you should be respected. If you believe that goldfish and cheerios are devoid of nutrition and want to keep your kids away from those snacks, then you should be respected. However I believe that both sides should have open minds because when it all boils down to it, we all have the same intentions and feelings about our children. We want them to grow up healthy and live long, healthy lives.