Tuesday, February 23, 2010

going green. or: in with the righteous indignation, out with the doritos.

We've been making some big changes at our house.

A few weeks ago, Shawn and I watched the documentary Food, Inc. It turned out to be nothing less than a total game changer for our family. I'd never considered myself much of an environmentalist. I mean, yeah, I put my beer bottles and cereal boxes in the recycling bin, but that was about it. Shawn had always been the "greener" half of this couple. Some illustrative examples: (1) One of the man's lifelong aspirations is to get rain barrels installed below our gutters so that he can water the lawn with collected rainwater. I mostly told him that this project was off limits if the rain barrels were at all ugly. (2) We'll be traveling to Indiana in a few weeks, and Shawn was seriously contemplating filling our car with aluminum cans so that we could drop them off in Michigan for a 10 cent deposit refund. I told him that, under no circumstances, were we driving a Honda full of our garbage across state lines. So, you can see my level of commitment to saving the earth. I mean, I wasn't out dousing baby seals in oil, but I wasn't up at night crying about them, either.

Then along came Food, Inc. Now, I expected to receive this documentary with the same sense of skeptical disdain that I typically reserve for such lefty docu-films. I don't think I'd ever gotten through a Michael Moore production without excessive eye rolling and dismissive headshaking. Followed by a strong desire to slap everyone who thought he was some kind of hero/genius/visionary. I basically thought he was a fat guy with an agenda and a camera.

So imagine my surprise when I start watching Food, Inc.... and I'm mesmerized. How did the makers of this movie get me to care, when Pierce Brosnan and all of his "save the whales" letters failed?? The short answer: instead of appealing to my sense of compassion (in dubious state of crustiness much of the time), the makers of Food, Inc. appealed to a higher sense: my righteous indignation! They made me mad! You mean to tell me that I am just an unthinking pawn at the mercy of the dark and mysterious forces of agribusiness?!? That companies are putting high fructose corn syrup in everything imaginable, then running ad campaigns alleging that it's the same thing as sugar?? I won't go into a play by play of the film, but I firmly believe that anyone who eats food should watch it. Suffice it to say, the whole thing made me so mad that I just said "I'm out." I don't want any part of this mess, and I'm voting with my knife, fork and spoon every time I sit down to eat.

So, we're going organic.

There will be plenty of follow-up posts on this subject, so for now I'll just leave it here.

And speaking of food, here are some pictures of Connor enjoying his {organic} rice cereal. We got the go-ahead at his 4 month appointment, and it really comes as no surprise that our butterball loves his cereal.

This is his first attempt. Note the prayer hands and the intense focus:

Followed by a barfy sense of being overwhelmed:

Subsequent attempts: I can do it myself!

Some of it went in his mouth, I swear.

He absolutely refused to swallow the last spoonful, just sat there grinning at us with his cheeks stuffed with mush:

Connor is 4 months and 3 weeks old.

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