Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chickens and eggs

I have made a real attempt to feed my family more healthy "real" food. It all started when kid #1 was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I HAD to start reading labels. I was surprised at all the stuff that was really in food. All the fillers, additives, extras...it was amazing. In addition, the arrival of kid#2 and understanding the full depth of her special needs caused me to ponder and the things done to food. To change its color, make it last longer, to make animals larger, to get them to give more milk...it began to make me wonder. Not one medical professional kid #2 has seen (and believe me there is a list a mile long) can not tell me why. They say it wasn't environmental, but after being raised on processed foods and artificial flavors (Diet Coke, but not while pregnant.) did I provide a hostile home for my children in utero? So, I have been making the switch slowly to organic, fresh foods. Hormone free meat, farm fresh eggs, nitrate free hot dogs, whole grain cereals, no artificial colors, 100% juice, agave and honey sweeteners, no high fructose corn syrup. It has also become "trendy". Even big box stores like Sam's Club and Meijer, and Target have begun to carry organic items. I have joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to get organic vegetables all summer long.

I titled this post "Chicken and eggs" because the woman that runs the CSA also delivers chicken and eggs to my house and they came yesterday. I was shocked when I first saw the inside of a farm fresh egg. Kid #1 wasn't so sure..."They're orange mom! How do they make them orange!" It is the fresh diet they feed these chickens and how well they are cared for. (Did you know that chicken coops use fluorescent lights inside the coops to get chickens to think it is day time all the time?) I heard on NPR that a study in England that stated cows that are talked to and that have names give more milk than those that are treated like a number. Duh?! As someone that produced milk myself, it makes good sense. On days I was stressed and feeling like a number I made less milk. I could have saved this study a lot of money and time.

So, I have rambled about food long enough and I am sure I will again. I really am learning more everyday. I want to give my kids the best start possible. My family has become very willing participants in my experiments. Last night, we had smoky pork tacos with a variety of toppings, cumin rice and beans. It was too spicy for some (I'll change that for next time.) It has become a fun hobby. I encourage people to try something new with their families too!

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