O’Mamas: For those of you with toddlers (or had toddlers, or will have toddlers, or work with toddlers, or know toddlers) … this is a pretty great reminder to find empathy when communicating with the littles. It’s not so easy to remember what it was like to be 2, 3 or 4 years old …
It’s no coincidence that kids start having tantrums around the time that parents start enforcing rules. When you say no, sweetie, you can’t have that butcher knife, your 20-month-old has no idea that you are depriving her of this awesomely shiny contraption for her own safety. “Since it’s the parent, whom they rely on for everything, who is taking it away, it’s perceived as a withdrawal of love, essentially,” says Alicia Lieberman, a professor of Infant Mental Health at the University of California-San Francisco and author of The Emotional Life of the Toddler. “They don’t know your reasoning. They just know that something they were getting great pleasure from, all of a sudden, you are taking away.” The pain that this causes, Lieberman says, is similar to what we might feel if our spouse betrays or cheats on us.
O’Mamas: We hear a lot of people complain about the price of organic food. And to be honest, there’s some truth to that statement (organic whole non-homoginized milk can be as much as $3 per gallon more in our local stores). But the truth is, a 14 oz. box of General Mills Cheerios cereal costs about $7.09 (SRP) … A two pound bag of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats will run you about $6.18 (SRP). That 14 oz. box of cereal contains 14 one-ounce servings (who eats one ounce of cereal at a sitting???). There’s 18 servings of oatmeal in the 2 lb bag. So … for about $1 more, you get four more servings (or 8-10 more servings if you eat cereal like most people). And you get food that’s not extruded or extracted or stripped of it’s nutrients through processing. You get food that’s good and good for you. Seems like a no-brainer.
The three articles we’re sharing this week are pretty good reasons to consider swapping out processed goods for whole foods … and even have some suggestions for how to do it cost-effectively.
I wasn’t eager to give up my tasty organics, but I had to find out for myself if they were really worth it. So I went to the source, the Stanford “meta analysis” that combined the findings of 237 studies that had tried to compare organic with conventionally grown food. I also talked to Johanna Congleton, Environmental Working Group’s environmental toxicologist, and EWG agricultural experts in Iowa and California. After considering the review and my colleagues’ evaluations of it, I’ve now doubled down on my commitment to eat organic.
When many of think of Costco food, we often think of frozen, premade food that you pop on a tray and cook in the oven. Certainly healthy, whole food dinners aren’t what we think of as the typical Costco dinner. However, you can easily skip all the junk and buy a lot of whole food ingredients there! A very lovely organic salad with low-mercury sustainable tuna, organic quinoa, avocado, and shredded organic carrots with a vinegar and organic olive oil dressing can be made from ingredients found at Costco.
The United States version of Betty Crocker Red Velvet cake not only has artificial colors linked to hyperactivity in children, food cravings, and obesity, but it also has partially hydrogenated oils (a.k.a. trans fat). Trans fat has been shown to be deadly even in small amounts. “Previous trials have linked even a 40-calorie-per-day increase in trans fat intake to a 23% higher risk of heart disease.” This could easily be the amount of trans fat in one serving of Betty Crocker icing alone.
O’Mamas: This week, it seems to be all about dreaming of our gardens. And one of our favorite garden-bloggers is Gayla Trall from YouGrowGirl.com. And this week, she did that horrible thing and reminded me how short our growing season … bragged about tomatoes I will be hard-pressed to grow in our raised beds out back. But I’m going to do my darndest to get Abby to give these a go in her greenhouse because they just sound wonderful!
I have a special place in my heart for currant tomatoes. They’re wild and free-growing. They are quite literally their own species (Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium). Naughty, unruly, and rebellious, they will blanket the garden in a webbing of lace-like foliage if you turn your attention away for even a moment. They are out of control and promiscuous. They readily cross-pollinate with other tomatoes in the garden, spreading their genes where you don’t want them. And once they get started, they never seem to stop producing legions of the tiniest, pop-in-your-mouth fruit.
Any good reads? Add ’em to our comments, we’d love to share them!