A mom’s take: Healthy food choices should be a choice

By Amanda Hill

I consider myself pretty health conscious. Each week, my grocery cart is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. I like serving home-cooked meals made from fresh, flavorful ingredients. Cooking healthy food, for me, is a way to take care of my family.

Now that I have a little boy, it’s become my responsibility to teach him healthy eating, too. In the last few months, he’s started eating baby food and now that he finally has teeth, some table food.

Before he started solid food, I asked his pediatrician if I should be feeding him organic food. Some claim that organic food is safer and healthier, so should I be feeding him an all organic diet?

Her response? Conventional fruits, vegetables, grains and meat—when he gets those teeth—are safe and just as nutritious. (The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees.) She said, “If you have the extra money and want to, that’s fine. But don’t feel like you have to buy organic food for him.”

As a mom, and as a consumer, that was good to hear. Now, I buy a mix of conventional and organic food based on what fits our budget.

Last week, I was going to make him pears. (Yes, I make his food. It’s really easy and affordable!) I decided to compare the prices of conventional and organic pears. Conventional pears cost $0.97/pound. Organic pears cost $2.47/pound. In the grand scheme of things, we could afford the difference, but without any proven food safety or nutritional benefit, it just wasn’t worth it for me.

I’ve been fortunate to meet several Texas farmers and ranchers, and I’ve talked with them about the differences between organic and conventional food. I’ve also done my research and feel comfortable with my food choices. It’s good to have questions about our food, but we should all have the freedom to decide what works best for us and our families—without judgment.

So, as a consumer and a mom, I appreciate the farmers and ranchers who grow our food—both conventional and organic. I’m thankful to have plenty of affordable, healthy food options at the grocery store. And during Texas Food Connection Week, I’m grateful that we can have an open, respectful discussion about healthy food choices.

The above post is from Amanda Hill, who lives in Central Texas with her husband, 10-month-old son and spunky chocolate Lab.  Amanda is one of four guest bloggers who are talking about food safety during Texas Food Connection Week, sponsored by the Texas Farm Bureau, Feb. 16-22. 

Photo by Soulful Snapshots Photography.

4 Responses to “A mom’s take: Healthy food choices should be a choice”

  1. Michael Osweiler says:

    Regarding your comment “but we should all have the freedom to decide what works best for us and our families—without judgment”. That is fine, but remember judgement and consequence sometimes can be synonymous. Just remember, the verdict is still out on the use of transgenic seeds (GMOs). The biotech industry polluted with a corrupt/deceptive operating demeanor. Senior leaders of major biotech companies in concert with cozy relationships big farm lobbyist orgs and politicians ram-rodded GMO approvals through the FDA in the late 90’s against concerns of many leading and well respected scientists. Do you think these folks really care about your kids. The only thing they really care about is their bottom line and the return on their biotech stock. You do not have to switch totally to Organic to manage you and your family’s long-term heath risks with GMO’s. Just switching to a selective non-GMO platform is a good start that is affordable. At least if/when a manipulated gene in a GMO goes bump in the middle of the night 10 to 20 years down the road, causing sustained and adverse health and environmental consequence, hence long after those folks mentioned above have retired and/or are gone, at least you know you will have acted responsibly in taking the extra precautions.

    • Mike Barnett says:

      GMOs have undergone more scientific scrutiny than any other form of plant breeding. The verdict continues to be “safe.”

      • Mike Osweiler says:

        Mike, You need to get your facts straight. The only safety tests conducted on GMO’s before market entry was a 90 day rat study. That is it. If you can find any other health study(s) completed in advance of GMO seed approvals back in the late 80’s, then tell us the specific report and where we can get copies. Fact is no long-term (5 to 10 year safety test) safety testing was ever performed or submitted to FDA. Yes, a lot of performance testing was done, but basically no safety testing.

        So for the past 20 years your biotech buddies have been using the public as Guinea pigs. Interestingly, since virtually no safety test were done in advance, who will ever know if it is safe. Just what your biotech buddies wanted. Safely, the biotech industry is corrupt. Lets take another check 20 years down the road to access the real damage.

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