Sunday, October 14, 2007

It Ain't Easy Being Green

It started with recycling. Hubby began insisting on recycling about three years ago and I think we're pretty darn good at it.

He buys organic feverfew for migraines (works like a champ!) and organic lotions/deoderants. He tried just baby talc but let me just say that we live in Texas so talc and my nostrils are not man enough for his pits in 100 degree heat.

Then after Bella was born, I made the decision to buy only organic milk and then all organic dairy. Easy enough and makes perfect sense for a baby's body, right? Now if I was a even better mama, we'd be doing goat's milk and not cow but I'm not there yet.

Today we spent a eye-popping amount of money on all organic foods at Whole Foods. And it isn't that it all costs so much more than "conventional foods", just that the additional dollar or two more per item for being organically grown adds up quickly!

There's the argument that studies have shown no advantage to buying organic. I disagree. My husband's family elders grow most of their food or buy it locally from other farmers and they are very healthy, active 80 and 90-somethings. Even with his grandfather smoking like a freight train and drinking more than a brewery can churn out in a day, he still works from 4am to 5pm (okay, with a couple of naps sneaking in).

My husband and I have decided to make some lifestyle changes. We are stepping away from processed foods. Slowly. Gotta give ourselves some time to recover from the lack of instant gratification that comes from boxed cookies or potato chips.

We are committed to eating organic, whole foods. We are going to even switch to more "green" housecleaning products. We plan to grow our own herbs, which we attempted a few years ago until the cilantro went nuts and ended up 4 feet tall with flowers all over. Pretty but not tasty.

I used to make fun of those hippies eating organic but it seems so logical now. We aren't going vegetarian because we don't mind a nice juicy steak. However, we do require that lovely cow be fed grass and not grain.

Sure, there's hype and it is deemed trendy to be organic. Yet it is going back to the basics. Simplifying the human diet as it should be. Will we be healthier? I can't see how we wouldn't be.

Will we be broke? Eh, check back with me on that.


louann said...

I agree- we only have 3 or 4 farms here that grow irganic veggies and fruits -- expensive in other words.
But healthy!
I am impressed at how determined you seem - lifeatyle change indeed.

Dr. J said...

what exactly do you do with the feverfew? my mom has cluster headaches.

MeesheMama said...

I'm really impressed. This is quite a commitment. I dream of organic foods, but unless we move ourselves to a farm, we can't begin to afford it. Do you have Trader Joes there?

And about the home cleaning products, my friend, the wonderful and insane mother of 4 (2 twin 3's, a 2 and 1 yr old) makes her own products to sell. I haven't ordered them yet because of the move but plan to very soon. Her site is:

Happy crunching!

theAdelmans said...

kudos to you and your family! it makes sense to start by making a greener home for a greener world. i am almost done with a book that is very inspiring and a great gift for friends and family. if everyone took one or two green living practices from this book it would make a world of difference-Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It really is a life-changing read! by the way, we jokingly call whole foods "the whole paycheck". ;-)

Jennboree said...

ahaha...whole paycheck. How very true! I've noticed many organic veggies taste a little different too. Interesting.

We aren't diving in all at once but we do have a plan of action to better our bodies and our home. I have to say it feels good to change our priorities to better our lives and that of our children.

T-girl said...

OK I have to point somethng out that many miss in the whole "organic debate" fail to consider.

One, our grandparents generation does/did grow their own foods and lived to the ripe 'ol age of... really old, HOWEVER every major study that has looked at it has proven that it was not necissarily the food but the LIFESTYLE. In fact studies show that people who move around live longer and have a better quality of life if they KEEP moving around! Many in the whole "organic" crazy want to forget that HUGE key in health! (Not saying you, I mean they whole debate people in general. LOL)

All THAT being said I agree with your "whole foods" theory in many ways! I am a major "cook from scratch girl" even the "junk food!" But some people are kind of stupid about it. Case in point: My SIL is all over some organic foods and yet... she eats like SHIT! She must own stalk in processed foods and processed is processed weather the product itself was orgionally organic or not. My child litterally gets sick EVERY time she visits her, last time it was two hours crying about her "ummy erring" because the kid had shit the whole day... we don't eat the crap, organic or not!

On certian items I would buy organic (milk, meat etc) if we could afford it because of the antibiotics. I grew up on a farm and our cows were grainfed to some extent... they however didn't have the anitbiotics or the extreemly important "fear factor" at death of the slaughter house. My father studied extensively how to make our meats "healthier" and grain is ok, it is how they are grained (it improves the flavor too), raised & slaughtered that makes the difference. More important is "free roam" (and actually able to free roam, just because something SAYS free roam doesn't mean it actually is, it is all about size of cages etc not the number in those cages) instead of being stuck in a pen or cage during life! Also slaughterhouses negate most the hard work done up until that point!

Certian fruits and veggies are actually better for you inorganic. I think it is root veggies that have less nitrates in them in-organic but I can't rememeber the reason exactly for sure.

ALL that being said, I am all about growing my own food. It just tastes better and hasn't been sitting on a shelf for years (organic or not) and therefore is better for you. In most situations if we could afford it I would buy it, however we are dirt (no pun intended) poor and I can't. My dream is someday being able to buy organic milk at least, I HATE that I know it has nasty hormones in it... and screw Goats milk, have you tasted that crap? YECK! I think you are a better Mommy for NOT serving it! LMAO

Ok, sorry it is the farm girl crossed with the registrared dietician in me that gets me on this debate every time. I am stepping down now, sorry I puked all over your blog! Don't hate me!

Jennboree said...

I love learning anything and everything about how to be healthier. I too have heard that some inorganic is better. As for the processed, we are trying to step away from any kind. You're right, processed is processed.

We get alot of our veggies from my husband's family farm or other farmers around them who do grow organically. His grandmother also cans alot of her own veggies and sauces/jellies.

You are exactly right about being active for longevity! We will one day inherit part of the grandparents' land and will continue to grow veggies/fruits on it. That'll keep our butts in shape! :)

Horizon organic is NOT much more than regular. Maybe a buck, if that. Well worth it!!

I plan to continue educating myself on what is healthiest, not just cuz it has USDA Organic on it ;)

Kelly said...

Good for you,I'm proud of you! It's all worth it, you'll see.

From a future holistic nutritionist. :)

Jennboree said...

Thank you, Kelly!

Btw, could you resend the private blog invite? I'm not sure what happened and think I dropped the ball in signing in.

theAdelmans said...

be warned that horizon is not technically organic. we were duped for a long time but recently found out that they use cows that were raised on farms that use antibiotics and hormones. be weary of ANYTHING that comes under the label of Dean Foods (Horizon is one brand), that company has found all the loopholes to labeling "organic" and "free range". a really great website to check out is they do a ton of the research for you.

i don't want to be preachy about any of this but i also don't want to see you spend your hard earned money on a product that does not deliver what you paid for.

Jennboree said...

Thank you! I will definitely check that out.

Geez, why do so many have to be sneaky and dishonest? All for the mighty dollar, I guess.

Maggie said...

I've been so busy that I just saw this post. We have been doing the organic thing for a few years, and Oliver ONLY eats organic food. I think that it really does make a difference - although some things are more sensitive than others. For example, if you are going to pick and choose (because of cost) what to buy organic then go with things that you eat the skin of. grapes, berries, potato, peppers, etc. Things like bananas, that have a thick skin that you don't eat, are ok to skip. Also, canned stuff - even when it's organic - still has LOTS of perservatives and stuff. Buy frozen whenever possible if you aren't buying fresh. Oh yeah, and check out your local farmer's market!

Jennboree said...

Thank you, Maggie! I'd heard about the fresh fruit/veggie thick skin thing. That's our new rule too. We used to go to a farmer's market downtown but we'll need to switch to one in another city (15 minutes away..oooh).