My mom always says that my kids are going to have to come to her house to eat the “bad” foods because the only things I ever have are carrots, crackers, and broccoli! While there may be some truth to that, let it be known that the odds of me ever parting with French fries or chocolate chip cookies is pretty slim. Therefore, I’m quite sure they won’t go their entire childhood without “bad” foods! In my mom’s most recent attempt to jokingly point out my preference to buy healthy and sometimes organic foods, it inspired me to share my desire for the “good” stuff.
I am not that woman who buys EVERYthing organic and always remembers my reusable shopping bags. I need my grocery budget to go the distance. I don’t grind my own peanuts in the fancy machines to produce peanut butter on the spot nor do I always have the discipline to bypass the donuts on the way to the cash register. But, I am the woman who loves food. And I am the woman who has started investing more time and energy in reading labels and caring about what I eat.
The real reason I have less of the “bad” and more of the “good” in my pantry and fridge these days is because much of the food that’s available to us is made with ingredients I can’t even pronounce! Have you ever picked up a loaf of bread and actually looked at the label? First off, if it says “high fructose corn syrup” I’m definitely dropping it like it’s hot. Most of the time if you keep reading, it’s a chemical alphabet soup. I thought bread was supposed to be basic?? Flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water?! Of course the reason why all of these preservatives are in a typical loaf is to increase shelf life. But, umm it’s bread. And I like basic bread! So, I spend the extra few bucks to get basic bread! Oh, and let’s talk about oatmeal. Again, I am that woman who has to take shortcuts sometimes, so I buy instant oatmeal packets. I save the hearty oats in the canister for weekends. #winning There was a time when I never cared about the ingredients in these packets. I just knew one packet was enough sustenance until lunch. One day I flipped the box over and read the label. Let’s just say I never bought those same packets again. I switched to the organic oats because I wanted a basic and fast oatmeal breakfast. You know…whole grain oats, sugar, and salt. Why are we overcomplicating this? And trust me when I tell you that the organic version tastes completely different than the regular one. What a novel idea that real food tastes better.
Although I would love to spare my wallet a few dollars and get back the time I’ve spent trying to find healthier alternatives to the foods that I like, I’m becoming more invested in what I choose to consume. I’ll spend 30 cents more on organic bananas and strawberries if it means less pesticides swirling around with the cells that constitute my anatomy. And I’ll buy the organic chicken breasts for my stir fry if it means the pieces aren’t full of antibiotics and as big as a toddler’s arm! The truth is that every day I’m learning more about “organic” versus “natural” and our country’s food standards. I don’t ever intend to be a farm girl where I have more control over what I grow and eat. But, for some things, give me the basics, because the overabundance of processed food and our contaminated environments are slowly deteriorating our bodies.
I can’t promise that I won’t eat an Oreo before the night is through or grab some waffle fries for my next lunch. Let’s face it…I do like to indulge and be happy, so Mom can stash a few “bad” foods for me too when I come to visit. However, I will balance it out with some foods that are whole and foods that should never be anything more than basic!
Eat, drink, and splurge on organic when you can, my friends! It does your taste buds and body real good!