But where does it come from?
This is the question that has been burning in my mind for a long time now.
It’s been around 10 months since Baby tasted her first mouthful of food other than breastmilk. The responsibility to feed and nourish a baby, well, it’s been one of the biggest challenges. A fun challenge, but a challenge that has certainly taught me a lot about the food that all of us, Prince Charming and I included, eat. I was always suspicious of packaged food, and the more I have been spooning home cooked food into my baby’s little rosebud mouth, the more I have wanted to know more about each ingredient, each place where the food is made, each animal that has died to be on her plate.
I’m quite sure most of my family and my mother think I am mad. What is wrong with a little piece of chocolate here, a little bit of drugged chicken there, a few teeny tiny preservatives, colours, flavours? I mean, we all ate it when we were kids, and we turned out fine… right?
The more I read about the food industry, the more I realise just how much it has changed over my lifetime. According to many, food production has changed more in the last 50 years than in the last 10,000. Isn’t that just unbelievable?
There have been a few very recent things that I have seen and read that have sparked the issue of food and my relationship with it…
This episode of Australian show Four Corners exposed the treatment of cattle exported from Australia to Indonesia. It featured horrific images of this live cattle trade. This was a turning point for me. I was a vegetarian for a little while prior to getting pregnant. When I was pregnant, being my first pregnancy, when my mum convinced me to eat some meat I did, and have been eating meat ever since. It’s not something I regret. But I realise now it’s just a habit.
A few days later I watched this documentary called HOME, the link to which I found here. It was a real eye opener as to how we humans have removed ourselves from the delicate lifecycle that is Earth. It also showed that because we eat SO MUCH meat and the demand is so high – over 50% of the world’s grains are fed to cattle! Common sense tells me this just isn’t healthy for anyone involved.
The issues of globalisation, factory farming, mass production, global warming… they are all swimming around my mind and I don’t quite know how to process it or what to do with all this information.
One of the things I have decided to do is to stop eating meat. Despite the cliche, it really was like a weight lifted from my shoulders. That is how I knew it was the right decision for me, at this time. Prince Charming has also jumped on the band wagon. It’s really nice to be doing something like this together. We are still eating fish once a week, but using the Sustainable Seafood website to make better decisions about which fish we select.
Another is to put more effort into our veggie garden. We are not the best gardeners around, and we did promise ourselves we’d fix our patch and put a winter veggie garden in but we have been sick and have not got around to it. Any veggie gardeners out there – is it too late in this crisp Melbourne winter to start? I have to find out and get onto this!
We will continue to use real, whole foods as the bulk of our diet.
I will go back to sourcing more organic foods and making it a priority in our budget to do this as much as possible. As Baby got older I became more blasé about it. It’s time to tighten the reins!
The last thing I am now trying to find out is what my options are to buy meat for Baby that is produced locally, treated well, organic, etc. At the moment she is still going to eat meat. I don’t feel qualified enough to make those decisions about her diet. Before Prince Charming and I stopped eating meat we rarely ate it anyway so things won’t change much for her.
I also have the Food, Inc. DVD on hold at the library…
It will be interesting to see where all this takes us.