27 June 2009


the glow of new motherhood (ha) has worn off and i find myself back in my normal, often concerned, occasionally cynical state of being.

Collins and I just got back from his first trip to Kroger (and my first in exactly two weeks - probably the longest i've gone without going to the grocery store in five years- this has been enabled by 1) sweet people bringing us meals and 2) having stocked up on milk, fruit, and bran flakes just before the baby was born)

We saved over 70 dollars with our Kroger Plus card - go Collins and Me! Just because we spent 139 dollars does not negate the amazing savings we accomplished.
(Although it does remind me of an old I Love Lucy show when Lucy buys this awesome hat on sale and exclaims to Ricky how much she saved and he says asks her how much she would have saved had she not bought the hat at all...she, rightly, sticks her tongue out at him.)

Kroger is depressing. I love to grocery shop - with and without children, as i've written about before. But today, I've come home with a terrible headache. Its probably highly related to the 99 degree temps we are STILL experiencing.
But, its also related to the sad state of Mississippi (i'm not saying its not equally bad or worse elsewhere, just that this is where I live and so I know its not so hot here)- specifically, the way we are raising our children and what we are feeding our families.

Things spotted:

1) 2 1/2 year old little boy (frame of reference: Older than Eason by a few months) in cart, sucking on baby bottle filled with red koolaid/hawaiian punch type substance, ocassionally turning it upside down to watch the drops come out onto the floor.

2) 1 1/2 year old little boy throws his sippie cup full of milk out of the cart, top begins leaking, spilling milk all over floor. mother mutters to herself, says a few words of condemnation (containing no corrective value) to child, and they keep walking, leaving milk spill

3) woman, on blue tooth, using profanity, three kids in cart.

4) multiple carts with only highly processed food-like substances in them (Michael Pollan - read his books- coined 'food like substances' and I love how descriptive it is) - which leads me to mention this distinction that i think we are failing to make in the national conversation about food -

There are many different extents to which food is processed!
an apple - pretty much (hopefully) how God made it.
a can of black beans - processed to some, in my opinion non-tragic, extent
a loaf of bread - processed to some, in my opinion non-tragic, extent
Totinos Pizza Rolls (the angels - or demons - sing hallelujahs in my ear at the mere mention of this food) - processed to a very high extent
Easy Mac - a highly processed food-like substance (even the easy mac people don't try to hide it - they call the yellow powder "powdered cheese product")

So - my point is - while I love the idea of making our own bread from locally grown oats, I recognize that thats not the first step. But it is very disconcerting to me when I see all these buggies full of packaged, process food like substances. Where are the bananas? the cheese (like real cheese...), the milk, the juice (like real juice, not fruit punch)?

I have no idea where to start with this. I care about our planet and that we use sustainable practices to produce our food, but more than that, I care about what we are putting in our mouths.

My feelings get genuinely hurt that there are these mothers who are knowingly, or more likely, unknowingly, filling their children's bodies with, excuse my language, worthless crap.

My feelings also get genuinely hurt that there are these mothers who are teaching their children that when we spill milk on the floor at the store, the proper reaction is to walk away. Oh, and lets not even tell the child not to throw his cup ever again. We don't throw cups. We don't throw things inside. We don't throw things in stores, certainly. And we never throw anything that has food or drink in it.

I talked to my mom yesterday afternoon and she was upset because, "The world is going to hell in a handbasket - the stupid House [of Representatives] just passed this fool-ass energy bill" - Well, whether the energy bill is bad or not, I don't know (new baby, not up on news, don't trust most news sources anyway, thought since MJ died there wasn't any other news allowed to happen, etc. etc. etc.) - but the world may be going to hell in a handbasket - or maybe saturday afternoons are a bad time to go to Kroger.

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