On Wednesday morning I woke up to some very upsetting news. When I opened my refrigerator door to drink some cold refreshing water, it was at room temperature. I wondered did I leave the door of the refrigerator open last night? Everything in my refrigerator felt like it was room temperature. I checked the controls and I went to work. When I returned, the refrigerator smelled and everything inside was spoiled.
Yes, this is a kitchen nightmare for me. I had so many organic vegetables (Kale, swiss chard, fresh spinach, ginger, celery, carrots, avocado) for my morning green smoothies that were totally spoiled. All of the weekend’s work of preparing meals for the work week for my son and I for our lunches and dinners was lost overnight ! It was so disappointing not to be able to enjoy the turkey meatloaf stuffed with organic fresh spinach leaves, sage and thyme, my adult’s version of homemade mac & cheese made of whole wheat penne pasta covered with melted fontina, creamy gorgonzola, rich ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella and a cream tomato sauce and finally the bowl of homemade tomato sauce and fresh raviolis. It was sad for me to toss into the garbage all of my spoiled vegetables in the green grocer’s bags that help keep them fresh for me. I poured down the drain organic milk, organic yogurts, and tossed into the garbage pastured organic butter and organic raw cheeses.
The only positive thing was that my freezer was still very cold and I was able to store my frozen foods in the freezer of my apartment building’s community room – thankfully! In my freezer, I have tons of organic frozen vegetables, organic chicken, frozen soups that I prepared in the past, organic unsalted butters for baking and organic, humanely raised grass fed beef!
All of this mourning over lost food in my refrigerator and pouring of money (literally) down the drain had me thinking of all of the money I spend on my organic produce and foods. It was an expensive loss (not to mention the urgent need to locate a new refrigerator that fits in this custom built kitchen) but I know that I am lucky to have the knowledge about food and the ability to afford to purchase my organic groceries.
I wasn’t always an organic zealot. It began when I was pregnant with my son in 2006. I started with little things – like organic milk and organic chicken. I didn’t want to eat food that was injected with antibiotics and other hormones while I was having a child develop and grow inside of my body – New York City if filled with enough toxins and my domestic life was toxic enough. That was the extent of my organic food purchases – it was expensive and I was going through a divorce. However, a few years later I started to read about our food supply and how the FDA has allowed it to be modified over the years, improved by science, some may say. I’ve read books like Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, the 3-Day Cleanse by Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss, Kris Carr‘s Crazy Sexy Diet and Integrative Nutrition by Joshua Rosenthal. I watched movies like Food Inc. I learned about genetically modified crops, genetically injected animals and the need to eat locally and seasonally. Doing all of these things, I’ve learned, benefit not just our bodies but also for our land, our animals and our environment.
I’m hoping to read the New York Time’s reviewed book, The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan soon (see review: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/books/tracie-mcmillan-writes-the-american-way-of-eating.html?_r=1&ref=books). Her view is different from the others – it discusses the workers at the bottom of the food industry and how they are impacted and what needs to change in our food industry so Americans can start eating better again.
I urge you to sign petitions like ones flying around Facebook: http://signon.org/sign/tell-the-fda-that-we.fb1?source=s.fb&r_by=2537995 and tell our government that our food, at the very least should be labeled. Americans should be aware that their food is not natural, straight from the source, that science has attempted to modify it to make it cheaper to grow. Safe, organic food should not be for Americans that could afford to pay for it - safe natural, organic food should be available to all Americans despite socio-economic status.