We had a WIC appointment on Tuesday. For those of you that may not be familiar, WIC stands for Women Infants and Children. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WIC There. When in doubt, Wikipedia comes in to save the day =). I really don't want to get into full details about it, but Jay and I don't make enough (I don't make anything...) and qualify to get some help.
This program is fantastic and has saved our day with formula when the twins were young and I couldn't breastfeed. It was wonderful. Now...I'm not 100% how wonderful this is.
Don't get me wrong- I'm incredibly thankful for the peanut butter, bread, milk and other items we can receive and food is food, in some aspects.
BUT...there's always a but somewhere, when the twins were older and switched to solid foods, I chose to make my own. I didn't want to feed them jars of food. I did some research and decided, for my family, it wasn't what I wanted. After watching movies (Food, Inc.- scary crap.) and reading In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto- Michael Pollan, I decided to change our eating habits. I feel that it's important to take control of what we are feeding ourselves and not rely on what the Government (or whoever) feels is "safe". I don't trust anyone anymore. Not when it comes to my food. It's seriously some scary crap when you start looking into it.
WIC told me that if I didn't take the allotted jars of food, there was nothing else they could do for us. I said fine and purchased all my own food. Expensive, but worth it.
During the summers in MN, however short they may be, the program gives out Farmers Market certificates to pick up fresh food and veggies. This is huge for us. We have been trying our hardest to eat healthier and organic but at the grocery store it's not exactly an affordable option for us. Sure, Kraft Mac n' cheese is .78 cents per box, but to buy organic lettuce and apples, I would have to take out a loan and hand over my first born.
So I decided to try to stock up this year and buy as much as I could at the Farmers Market, fresh and organically grown so I can freeze it and have it all winter and the Farmers Market is a little more affordable. We used to get about $45-50 a summer for fresh fruit and veggies to spend at the Farmers Market on top of our usual certificates.
They chopped down the program to half of what they used to give because no one was using them. That breaks my heart. Where's the education about the importance of eating good food? WIC is all up in my case at every appointment about how much juice my kids drink, how much veggies and fruit they eat and exercise we get. BUT when I talk about my choice of wanting my kids to eat fresh, organic, locally grown foods over processed crap, they could care less. I get that it stems from much higher than the one girl helping us at the counter but I'm just tired of it all.
We now get $20 per summer to spend at the Farmers Market. That's it. That's actually better than nothing, I know that. BUT I would GLADLY trade over all my other certificates JUST for a little more fresh, organic food for my family. A little help is all I need.
I wish WIC cared more about freshness for those that choose it. Actually, I wish our Government cared more about what was in our foods and what is being sold at our Grocery stores. I'm not a perfect Mom and don't wish to offend those that want to feed their kids other foods. My twins have never tasted McDonald's, but they LOVE that stupid box of Mac n' Cheese. But I'm trying to change that.
I planted a HUGE garden (and even plan on expanding that next year) so I can give us more healthy options and a learning experience all in one. It's not enough yet, but it's a start. I plan on cutting down my grocery bill, by not buying crap, so I can spend more at the Farmers Market and safe meat.
I wish there were more people interested in changing the way the world eats. I wish there were more involved in higher places, removing GMO's from our food source. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GMO
Wikipedia again to save the day.
It's important to educate ourselves on what is being put into our food. No longer can we rely on what the Government tells us is safe or what the USDA determines to be "healthy".
I also don't take supplements or vitamins. I don't believe in "diets". They are hurting us more than helping. Eat healthy and you won't need to diet. Simple as that. I get that it's harder to do than say. We've been raised this way, for generations. I am NOT perfect, but I'm trying my hardest to feed my family healthy foods. I should try harder. My husband is the least resistant to this new way of eating. The twins will eat whatever. Evan is also very resistant to this change. I should have made this decision prior to having kids and maybe then it would have been easier for us all. I wish I would have KNOWN about all this prior to having kids.
There is a TON of information out there for you to find regarding GMO's and organic food. I wasn't trying to get into a huge rant about what is being put into our food. That could take days.
I just wish the Government cared more about what we are eating and made it more affordable so we could all make better decisions.
I guess I wish a lot.