I actually can’t see the screen today since I am sick and my sinuses are swollen to the point where I think they’ve enveloped my good eye, so this will be brief. Last week or the week before (perhaps sometime last month? Who knows anymore?) I wrote about being imperfect and our use of canned goods. Specifically, I wrote “When we can afford better, we’ll buy better.” I’ve yet to see Food, Inc., though it is on my Netflix queue, but I’ve read a few blog entries on the subject of social class in nutrition and how $2.50/lb organic whatever is no match for $0.50/package ramen noodles. Here are some links:
If Only Poor People Understood Nutrition! (Tongue in cheek title, I assure you. Fascinating read.)
I don’t have anything close to answers, because I’m not a scientist, economist, sociologist, or a nutritionist and I’ve said before that a PhD in Google qualifies someone to speak on very little. But I like the first link because let’s not lie. It feels SO GOOD to be superior, to share our positive experiences and tell other people what to do; it is so easy to say “I can’t believe so-and-so feeds their kids X.” (Why else does everyone and their mother have a blog, if not to grump about the choices of others?) I know of a family who put actual Coca-Cola in her kids’ bottles before naptime, and those kids rotted out every tooth they ever had. My first reaction was “What the hell?!” They were poor and uneducated and young, the parents, and it was so easy to say “Well, she must not know any better, poor ignorant thing.” But you know what? Coca-Cola, at the time, was less than a dollar a bottle. Compare that to the price of formula*. What do you buy? Yeah. You don’t see Coca-Cola on lockdown in closed cabinets in inner-city supermarkets so people won’t shoplift it. And you don’t see people outside the store asking for money to buy their kids a soda, either.
(*Let’s just ignore entirely the “breastfeeding is free” argument, because situations and socioeconomic factors can affect the quality, content, and even ability to produce breastmilk. Also, having to work full-time at one or two or even three jobs on sometimes erratic schedules isn’t conducive to breastfeeding either. Exclusive breastfeeding in our culture is a luxury and I will not judge a mother who uses formula, because there are a lot of factors that people don’t take into consideration. “Well, if you just…” It doesn’t work that way. I don’t have the answers to fix that either, and most people who say they do are lying.)
Yeah, there are a lot of people who eat total crap, who fill their carts with junk–and know better. But there are an equal number of people who are just trying to fill their kids’ bellies with whatever they can afford. So I am making it my resolution to be way less judgmental of what I see people feeding their kids. How can I know their circumstances? And who am I to point a finger at them to say “You’re doing it wrong, and you don’t deserve to have children if you can’t feed Little Skippy the best.”
This country has enough SanctiMommies. I’m not going to join their ranks.