Shock and Awe. And Cocoa Puffs.

January 23, 2010


A few weeks ago, I all but forced Husband to sit and watch Food, Inc. with me. For those of you that have seen this documentary you know why this title of this post is what it is. And let me say this: if you haven’t seen this film, you need to. It’s important. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Needless to say the grocery shopping in this house has changed fairly dramatically since then. Some additional books have been purchased and I am sadly watching some food commercials with more nausea than interest these days.

Leah has been quick to notice the changes in the pantry and started questioning almost immediately why we are buying so much organic stuff. And NO this cereal does NOT taste the same as COCOA PUFFS and WHERE is the “REGULAR” cheese?!

I took some time trying to decide how and how much to explain to Leah about our decisions. She’s bright but can be terribly sensitive about certain things. I didn’t want her to go down a rat hole of fear regarding day to day food, but it was important for her to know the story. Finally I decided she needed to see parts of Food, Inc for herself. Yes, it’s slightly horrifying, but that’s the point, isn’t it? And if it became overwhelming, well, we could always turn it off.

Last night we watched it. Or at least parts of it. I had to stop and pause the DVD a few times to simplify some concepts or really make sure she understood a certain statement, but, not surprisingly, she caught on quick. And, bless her little magnificently linear brain, she did, indeed, go straight down a rat hole in horror. But I let her for awhile because I was proud of her for realizing certain facts without my telling her.

You see, at one point she sat straight up, looked at me with huge eyes of realization and said, “Mommy?! Does my school use organic food?!”

“No, sweetie. It doesn’t.”

One of the most exciting things in the world for her is to buy her lunch at school. I guess that’s sort of a right of passage in third grade. But she doesn’t want to do that any longer. She now wants to bring her lunch. EVERY DAY. AND DON’T LET ME FORGET, MOMMY!

I’m okay with that.

There were some real, fearful tears, a SHITLOAD of questions, a discussion of the science of bacteria, and more questions. She hit the wall of information pretty quickly and sat up and looked right at me and said, quite seriously, “I want to turn this off now.” So we did. She got the point. We didn’t need to give her nightmares.

I did explain to her that this doesn’t mean from time to time Mommy isn’t going to want a cheeseburger at the local family grill or a badass pizza at the joint attached to the ice rink. Because Mommy likes her grease. And it’s fine. Do we risk bad food and dangerous bacteria? Yep. But we can’t live in a complete bubble and we will do the best we can.

We will do our best to make better bad decisions.

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