Food Food Glorious Food

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY I found my food post! It wasn’t eaten – just hiding. Here it is, with timely additions!
Last Wednesday (now about 14 Wednesdays ago), I took the evening off to go to an organic baby food making workshop at Grass Roots. Woohoo! Party. As I was pumping breast milk for Aurora, I started to wonder if I should have chosen something “cooler” to go to since it was to be my 3rd outing in 7 1/2 months. It turned out to be the right decision after all. It was fun and educational to boot!
I had already been making organic purees for Aurora as well as cereals (by grinding up grains in the blender and then with a mortar and pestle), but I l did learn a few things. The first was that I should be steaming everything, not boiling it, so the nutrition doesn’t leek out in the water. Secondly, I can feed her spices and herbs and thirdly, jarred baby food tastes terrible, even if it’s organic. I had suspected as such, but it was confirmed for me. I bought some special BPA free ice cube trays to freeze her food in. Earlier that day I had purchased silicone muffin tins for the same purpose. I actually like them better because they are so flexible that it’s very easy to get one cube out at a time.
Leanne from Sprout Right ran the workshop and I liked her very much except that she seemed to really single out one couple and I felt bad for them. Back to the point, she made some apricot puree for us to try, but I hadn’t brought a spoon or anything with me, so I had a bit of a predicament. I wanted to try it but I didn’t want the spoon. It was funny because in the beginning, we had to tell a little bit about why we were there and I talked about wanting to make my own food to remain garbage free. The woman beside me had seen me on TV and she remembered, so when the samples came around she watched to see what I would do. I looked at the spoon three times and finally just took a sample and put the spoon in my coat pocket to try and make something out of it when I got home. I think it is still in my pocket (now 3 months later). She laughed and said something kind to reassure me that I wasn’t a terrible person for taking the spoon. I think it is still in my pocket (now 3 months later).
We canceled our Service with Front Door Organics. They are a lovely company doing great things but a large amount of our trash comes from them-onion bags, wrapping on cauliflower etc. I wrote a bunch of other organic delivery services to see if we could get a fresh box without any packaging. A few said “no, sorry”. Another said “oh yes. Your project sounds lovely. We’ll take the packaging off before we send it.” Nice thought but no, not quite. It’s a good thing this post took so long to write because originally I was going to lament that there were no local organic boxes. I want food from the farm to my table-no packaging. It’s harder to find time to go from farmers market to farmers market these days. Anyhow last week (really) we got a flyer in the mail from mamaearth organics and they seem to be exactly what I am looking for. Yaaay. I still have to call them and make sure, but it seems that once again, one of my wishes have come true.
The last thing I wanted to talk about was my trip to the nutritionist. My nurse practitioner made me an appointment because she thought i was lacking in Calcium. We are vegetarian and Aurora seems to be sensitive to dairy so I’m now mainly dairy free as well, for as long as I’m breast feeding. She asked me a bunch of questions and came to the conclusion that I was really quite healthy and it was due in no small part to making my own food so I could be garbage free. The two criticisms she had both started with ” I appreciate your environmental efforts but”….
1. You should feed your daughter boxed baby cereal because it is fortified with iron
2. You should buy cartons of orange juice because you can get it enhanced with calcium.
I ignored the first suggestion, but took the second one, so now we have orange juice containers to add to our every growing recycling pile. Does anyone else think it’s weird that we have to “fortify” our food to be health? Shouldn’t natural, pesticide free food be healthy enough? Why do we need to pump it up? What did people do before someone figured out how to inject food with vitamins and minerals?

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Food Food Glorious Food

  1. Heather Azima

    Hi Sarah,

    It’s Heather of Bard & Heather & now 1yr. old Bodi – friends of Elle and Sean. Elle turned me onto your blog and I love it. You have became a little angel/devil voice inside my head. Forcing my hand to pass on an excessively packaged toothbrush and making me feel good and guilty for consuming more than i need. Thank you.

    Just a little comment on your post asking why the need for fortified food. It was explained to me by a nutritionist (take it with a grain of salt) that because our soil is so depleted of minerals and nutrients that our food is not as nurtritious as it once was. Hence, another great way for corps to step in and make us healthier… and make a huge buck while they’re doing it.

    All the best to your new little family!

    Heather Azima

  2. Lisa Gal

    I love your blog and as my husband and I are starting to think about beginning a family I find your shared experiences very helpful (thank you). In response to the question about fortifying our foods… I just read the book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan and found it helped answer a lot of questions about how and why our “food” has become what it is, and what we can do about it. If you have the time in your busy baby schedule, maybe check it out.

  3. I’ve been reading Omnivores Dilemma for about 6 months now. I love it and I’m usually a very quick reader but I have had no time for books.

  4. Thanks for your comment too Heather!

  5. This is a great post. We have a 4 month old little girl, that my wife currently nurses. I bought a food processor a few months ago when I decided to go on the raw food lifestyle. I’m hoping that we can start making our own baby food when my daughter is a bit older. I appreciate your views on creating less trash. I own an organic clothing company that operates mostly on line. Now you have me thinking about how well we handle product packaging. If you have any ideas please let me know. http://www.3clothingco.com

  6. yay! you’re back!!
    i love your comment about the book. i borrowed it from the library, both of micheal pollen’s actually, and i cant get through it either. nicks read it, so at least someone has. i do love him though. i’ve seen a bunch of interviews.

    i’m glad you’re blogging again. i love hearing your garbage-free adventures. i’m so happy that i’m moving closer to a bulk barn. we have nothing out here like that. and i compleltly get you being stressed about moving/garbage free/raising a small child. i’m selling my car, buying a van, moving our stuff across the country and trying to raise 3 kids. not easy i tell you!!

    ~jen

  7. jen from leonids here…I love your blog!! Garbage free is awesome!

    (small rant – my building is a condo, so we have NO green bin [organic] recycling. BUT the City is now charging $$ for garbage produced per building…so we are being penalized for not being allowed to be in the green bin program! How ludicrous is that?)

    You probably already know about the farmers market on Saturdays (2-5) on St Clair and Wychwood? I believe you’ll be even closer to it after your move. It’s one of my favorites even though it’s very small. 100% local farmers.

    I have a KitchenAid stand mixer, and I’m thinking about getting the grain mill attachment. If I do I’ll let you guys know, cuz I could grind all sorts of grain kernal goodness for you.

    Fingers crossed for your move – let me know if you need anything, we have a car!

  8. kimberly

    in response to the blog – yah, i agree. fortified food seems a little sketchy to me. i think as long as you’re eating healthy, organic food, there shouldn’t be any problems with getting enough vitamins/nutrients. let us know how it went with mamaearth organics… i’ve been meaning to sign up for a csa, but it’s hard being a single gal. i’m not sure i could eat all those veggies alone…

    in response to the last comment… the city is charging apartments for garbage produced because not enough is being recycled. i believe the stats are that about 13% of recyclable objects are recycled in condos/apartments. that’s kind of appalling, no? we recently got flyers in our building detailing what can/cannot be recycled. hopefully people are getting better informed… but i’m not sure that’s what has been stopping people from recycling in the past… some people in my building have befriended the neighbours who live in homes, and they put their green bin waste in their green bins on pick up day. maybe you can find a neighbour closeby, until they resolve the green bin apartment issue? or sneak out at night and throw it in someone’s bin, if they’re unfriendly and won’t share 😉 sucks that we have to resort to that, but on the upside, toronto/ontario is really doing a lot to minimize waste. these things just take time…

  9. Laura

    Re: wrapping on organic food. Won’t this problem be solved if you get a CSA membership? We have ours with Plan B Organic Farms and I know they have members in Toronto. Our Plan B produce arrives from the farm with no wrapping except during the spring when the loose baby greens are bagged, everything else is as is, dirt and all.

  10. Oh, I wanted to add to the calcium thing: if you eat lots of leafy greens (kale, collards, spinach, beet greens, mustard greens, etc.), then you’re getting PLENTY of calcium. Sesame seeds and figs and broccoli and almonds all have good amounts of calcium in them, too.

    I have a cookbook I can lend you called CalciYum! It’s a dairy-free vegetarian cookbook with good health facts in it too. Well researched and the food is seriously good. It’s actually written with pregnancy in mind, so it would be good for lactation, too.

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