This morning my daughter and I had a conversation about cancer and Relay for Life. It started out with a question about what “Relay for Life” is all about and progressed to a Q&A session about organics. I am a firm believer that genetically modified products, chemicals and hormones in food and drinks, and non-organic farming are to blame for a huge percentage of cancer cases. So my naive child asked me why they can’t just stop making non-organic food. Indeed, that would be a very easy and simple solution. Unfortunately, our world is a lot more complicated. The simple answer is because there are too many companies that are making unreal money profiting from non-organic manufacturing practices. “But it’s not fair! What if they got cancer from the food they make?” They won’t, they don’t eat the food. They have more than enough money to afford organics. What they do is they make food cheap and affordable for others. And there are millions of people who are dependent on the food and are not ready to switch to healthier choices. Some people can’t afford it or don’t think they can afford it. Others believe that organics are overrated. If you are on a tight budget, it’s not easy to make a conscious decision to buy a $10-$15 chicken when a $3-$5 chicken is also for sale.
Just think about how much money it takes a farmer to raise a chicken. Big companies are only willing to pay, let’s say a $1 per chicken. So in order for the farmer to make any kind of profit on that chicken, a farmer has to figure out how to make the total cost of raising and feeding the chicken way under a $1. So the big companies come up with guidelines on how to use antibiotics, cheap genetically modified foods, and growth hormones in order to raise hundreds of big fat chickens in a “tiny” chicken coop in a short period of time.
It’s a lot of information for an elementary school aged child to take in. But I am glad she is asking these questions. I am glad she is OK with not going to McDonalds and Burger King and eating homemade food instead. The other day we made homemade chicken nuggets (I will make sure to share the recipe on this blog in a few days), and they were a hit – the best chicken nuggets my kids had ever tasted! It feels good to make healthy choices. And it is very doable, even if you are trying to go organic on a budget. At a fast food restaurant, we could have spent $6 on kids meals alone. Instead, we spent $8 on ingredients for organic chicken nuggets, carrots, and milk. Money well spent!
I think talking to your child about organics is a good idea. Kids may also want to hear the message from their peers. Here’s a great video you can watch together. Love what the kid has to say: is organic food really more expensive? “You can pay the farmer or the hospital…”
This guest post was written by Eva B, Mom of an 8 year old girl.