The price tag of healthy eating

Last night was a very busy night for me…I was trying to get caught up on all things in the home front (have I mentioned that I’m now employed as a paralegal?), getting ready for a meeting today AND trying to catch a Twitter chat on #GMODairy.

My candle was truly burning at both ends, and it kind of felt like I may have lit it in the middle as well.

I was mostly reading in on the Twitter chat, because I was trying to make supper and get a few other things done. But one statement stopped me dead in my tracks. A lady commented that, “More and more Americans are going organic because they have become savvy shoppers. Health has no price tag.”

Wait a minute…

Come again?

I beg to differ.

Health certainly DOES have a price tag. If it didn’t, why would so many people be up in arms over health insurance? Why would “Obamacare” be treated like the apocalypse? Why would premiums be skyrocketing, insurance companies folding and people going bankrupt, all because of medical bills?

Yes, health has a price tag. And the beauty of the country we live in, is that we get to decide what it is…Each. One. Of. Us.

Yes, even with “Obamacare.” You don’t want insurance? Don’t buy it. Pay the fine. A choice you may not like, but a choice all the same. (And no, this isn’t about arguing the faults/promises of that law…just a point to make.)

So here’s my problem with the #GMODairy Twitter chat. It was a session in bullying. Yes, I said bullying. Not school-yard bullying, but adult, if-you-value-your-family-you’ll-spend-the-money type of bullying.

And here’s what it boils down to: if you want to buy organic, go ahead and do it. If you want to buy conventional, go ahead and do it. If you want to buy GMO, go ahead and do it. Just don’t feel guilty about the decisions you make, and don’t make me feel guilty about the decisions I make. Those are the only “rules” I want you to follow.

My grocery budget is pretty large. I have a large family, and my four boys can put away a LOT of food in a week’s time. I grow a large garden, but I admit that it’s mostly for therapy, not just food production. I enjoy giving away the food that I raise, and we eat as much as we can. In the store, my decisions revolve around my youngest son’s diet, what’s on sale, what I feel like making and what the produce in the store looks like…and not necessarily in that order.

When I get home, I rest easily at night, knowing that I’ve done my job to the best of my ability. I know that my children are well fed and that we have gone one more day without being hungry. And I am thankful for that.

The price tag of healthy eating? It’s up to you to decide.

And that’s all that should matter.

Game changers

I met a few game “game changers” today. It was an amazing opportunity that involved getting an invite to an event, and finding it important enough to buy a plane ticket to attend.

So what would be so important? The opportunity to meet and listen to Mark Lynas and Julie Borlaug. 

I’m guessing for most of you, you have not a clue as to who either of these people are, but to someone who does a lot of reading about agriculture these are celebrities. 

Mark Lynas is an environmentalist from Britain who, after spending years advocating against GMO’s, has changed his stance, understanding that there is a place in our food system for technology, including GMO products.

I am famous for making an apology.

Image

Julie Borlaug is the granddaughter of Norman Borlaug, a man that has been credited with saving millions of people from dying through improvements in crops and cropping systems. (I’m currently reading the book “Our Daily Bread; The Story of Norman Borlaug.” Highly suggest it to everyone who enjoys eating.)

Over the next few days, I will give my thoughts and share some of my notes from the event. It was a truly amazing experience, and worth the time, money and effort to be here in St. Louis. A great thank you to the Danforth Center for inviting me…and even giving me a special seat!

Image