A Mother's Change in Perspective
Friday, August 22, 2014
By: Sarah Haney from the “Mommy of Two” blog
As a mom, I strive to give my children the best start possible. The habits they start now, such as what to eat and what portions to have, will stick with them through their lives. So introducing healthy foods is important. The problem I found when I started looking at nutrition for my family was how to define healthy versus organic, since it seemed organic was the only way to go. Between a few family members, and increasing coverage in the news, I felt pressure to jump on the bandwagon to rid our home of pesticides. I didn’t fully commit to the organic craze, but about half of the products in my kitchen were ‘Certified Organic’ by the time my oldest was three. I thought I was making the healthy choice for my family.
In 2012, I started my journey as a single mom living on my own. I worked full-time, went to college, and supported myself and my children without assistance. With $80- $100 a month to pay for food, I couldn’t afford to be picky about things anymore. Organic was no longer an option. I used what cash I had at the grocery store and then headed to the food pantry. The selection was always different, with many brands I had never heard of. Bread was donated by a local bakery, and almost all produce came in cans - every organic believer’s worst nightmare. I was worried about eating non-organic foods and feared that they would harm us in the long run. How could I be a good mom if I was giving my children food with pesticides?
My life, and my perspective, changed when I met my husband, Jordan. Jordan is a farmer. He grew up on a farm and has been farming himself for several years. His family farms approximately 3,000 acres of corn and soybeans. I didn’t have to be around for long before I saw that they used pesticides, and I asked a lot of questions. The main take-away? Vegetables are vegetables, and they are important.
I learned that pesticides are necessary to protect our crops and bring food to our tables. They allow our family to grow healthy and plentiful crops and feed not only my family, but our country and the world. Becoming part of a farming family taught me that organic does not equal healthy, and that pesticides aren’t scary after all.
From Vitamin A through Zinc, we need the nutrients that vegetables have and there’s no getting around that. Start making fruits and vegetables a priority and incorporate them with your meals. Try a banana in your favorite cereal or cauliflower in your mashed potatoes. Get creative, get the kids involved, and have fun with it. Help your family learn how to make healthy choices.
There isn’t anything wrong with organic foods, but the guilt that the industry puts on families is. We need to worry less about pesticides, and focus more on healthy choices. I know as I’m writing this that there are many moms out there who feel the same way I did. Don’t let fear drive the choices you make for your family. Start serving more fruits and vegetables, and know you are creating great habits for the future.
It doesn’t matter if your vegetables come from your own garden or a can - as long as they are there. Like Mom always said, #EatYourVeggies!
Sarah is a farm wife living in Illinois. She is currently studying Psychology and writes in her free time. Her personal blog, Mommy of Two, is about how she balances all of her endeavors while putting her family first.