You know ... I'm getting a little tired of all this food drama. I know, I know, I should probably be taking it all more seriously but my god, how much time are we expected to spend on this?
Let's break down all the things we know or have been told about food:
We should drink more water.
But not from plastic bottles, mountain streams or taps in most countries of the world. We're told Cape Town is one of only 33 cities in the world with drinkable tap water. Then we're told that's not in fact true.
We should eat lots of fruit.
But not those with waxy skins. Not those grown too far away. Not those grown in the 'wrong' countries (like oranges from apartheid SA of old). Not those whose fructose content is too high. We must take note, collate and memorise the long lists going round of fruits which should Only Be Grown Organically.
We should eat lots of protein.
But not red meat. Not battery-reared poultry. Don't eat chicken reared on animal by-products, oh but watch out for the grain fed ones too. Only fish from the right SASSI list, and those which contain no traces of dolphin. We must not eat animals which were slaughtered inhumanely. We must find this out how? We must not eat meat which is too fatty. We must not eat meat which is too lean. We must not eat meat cured with numerous different hard to pronounce substances. We must definitely never eat 'deli meat'. Pate is to be regarded with suspicion.
I'm not even getting in to eggs.
We should eat lots of legumes.
But only organically grown ones. Also ditto, no beans with too great a carbon footprint (they don't even have feet) or grown in countries not regarded as fairtrade.
We shouldn't eat beans canned in certain metals and we should always, always be on high alert for Additives.
We should drink milk.
Just not un/pasteurised, possibly bleached, incorrectly bottled milk from cows which may or may not be hormone-fed.
We shouldn't eat too much wheat. But heaven forbid we touch maize.
All honey should be BEE approved.
Sugar is evil. But also good. And sugar-replacements are direct from Satan.
Makes grocery shopping a whole lot of fun huh?
I'm being flippant, but I'm also quite serious. I could spend an immense portion of my time getting my knickers in a knot about this. I could add food-guilt to the long list of things we parents fret about. Guilt that we can't afford to buy all organic. Guilt that we don't spend every free moment growing and rearing our own food.
Guilt that I'm not forcing my family to only eat organically-grown-fairtrade-anti-oxidant-humanely picked-additive free-unflavoured-'healthy' meals which we can't afford and they probably won't eat but I spent 100 hours this week planning, shopping and preparing them so shut up and eat it and you'll thank me when you live to be 105?
I shop as consciously as we can afford to. I pick my food battles, my principled stances, and I stick by them. I enjoy preparing well-balanced as healthy as possible meals for my family. I feel positively ecstatic when everyone eats these meals.
I am NOT going to add food guilt to my list of parental burdens.
I'm saving my guilt for when I'm at the checkout of the supermarket with my trolley full of groceries and the woman behind me has a baby on her back, a toddler at her side and only a 5kg bag of (not organic! genetically modified!) mielie meal in her basket.
That's what I choose to fret about.