Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bookworm Challenge - AVM Part 2

Chapter 6: The Birds and the Bees: Favorite Line - "These are the big lugs so famously dumb, they can drown by looking up into the rain" - while this is not the funniest line in the chapter (can-Jo, turkey sex and the suggestion of a turkey reproduction specialist as a career path got the most gut-busters) it is the most thought provoking. Genes necessary to survival in the wild being bred out of animals in captivity for the sake of pure convenience is just about as disturbing as cloned sheep. I am certain that I don't want to be eating animals so genetically modified they couldn't even reproduce. So, what did I do? We have been buying as much local, pasture raised meat as possible, but hadn't even put a thought towards the big turkey day looming in November. As part of our CSA we can pre-order a free range, certified organic turkey to be delivered for the holidays. Now, there, that was easy! And, now I can threaten my boys every time they slack on the homework that if they don't buckle down, they might just end up a Turkey Wrangler!

Chapter 7: Gratitude: Favorite Line - "Nobody fell in the creek, nobody went hungry and nobody's husband refused to dance" - this hit a note with me because I am forever planning a birthday, bbq, holiday party etc. and run around stressed out that the food isn't right, the decorations shabby or the kids not having enough fun. As I look back, I am pretty sure I am the only one not having any fun. So, this summer I plan to take it easy, cook what's local and if the gaggle of 11-13 year olds hanging out in the backyard don't like nitrate-free, organic turkey dogs, well, I am sure they can eat a cookie and be just fine...

Chapter 8: Growing Trust: Favorite Line - "Penny-pinching is an accepted defense for toxic food habits, when frugality so rarely rules other consumer domains" - Oh, the part about school lunches is just so true. Here in the 'burbs we demand quality education, new computers, athletic fields and science labs. But, we can't demand a higher quality lunch and pay 50 cents more for it? So, over the summer I plan to write a series of letters to the school district trying to assist them in finding better options - in my opinion, my kids deserve better than a "taco hot-pocket"!

Chapter 9: Six Impossible Things to Do Before Breakfast: Favorite Line: "In fact, June Cleaver has left the premises" yes, she ha.s ladies and gentleman, yes she has. Working mothers on the run between jobs, baseball games, baseball practices, band concerts and track meets (we had all of those this week alone!), housekeeping, gardening and lastly - cooking. Many of the things in this chapter, such as doubling up on a good recipe on the weekend, are complete common sense, but are the things I had forgotten over time. It was just as easy to crack open a frozen Costco lasagna, shove it in the oven and go back to my day. Now, I don't see myself as the type to make my own cheese (let's face it, Barbara is pretty ambitious!), but I certainly see myself as the type to make a double batch of homemade muffins that are great for breakfast and snacks. As a matter of fact, I did this last night and I ate one this morning. Yum.

Chapter 10: Eating Neighborly: Favorite Line: "We could hear the crash of corporate collapse with every bite". Oh, I hope so, I hope so. We all know CAFOs are inherently wrong, but so is the marketing, advertising and labeling of just about every single food inside of a gigantic chain store... Meats proclaim to be all natural, free range, antibiotic free! Buy Me! Buy Me! What they are not telling you is how that animal lived, what they really ate and how much time they spent outdoors. So, all of our meats are now coming from within our own state, from farms where animals are cared for as an art form, eating grass and natural foods and are packaged and processed naturally. It's strange feeling to get meat wrapped in blank, white paper and bacon without a single label - these farmer's aren't worried about their marketing pitch - they are just selling you good, honest product. Farewell Tyson and Perdue, I can hear the crash of corporate collapse!

6 comments:

Green Bean said...

Oh yeah, baby! Another great post. I love this style and it is particularly appropriate for AVM, which is packed with inspiration and great lines. You make me want to go back and re-read the book.

You are making so many positive changes to your family's eating habits. It sounds wonderful. The last thing I wanted to note is the school lunch. It truly astounds me what is served. Somehow we as a nation have forgotten that what goes into our bodies is just as important as the clothes we wear, the computers we use, the teachers who teach, the buildings we inhabit. In fact, I would argue that it is more important. What's that? The sound of a corporate collapse with every bite? Yahoo!

eco 'burban mom said...

Thanks, GB. I sooo agree about the school lunch. My older boy's middle school has state of the art computer labs, a jaw dropping gym and a fully integrated online learning system. For which, we had to buy laptops for each child. So, why can't they offer a better lunch? They think we have $1000 laying around for a laptop, so it's conceivable that we have an extra 50 cents for lunch.

Remember when I said I send them with money for lunch and they buy junk? It's because they have a separate line where you can just buy "snacks"! For lunch! Which consists of nachos with day-glo orange cheese, bosco sticks, canned lemonade and the like. No fruit, no veggies, no grains, just processed foods and high fructose corn syrup. And my one son wonders why he has a headache after school! We now limit buying lunch to only once per week (it's a social thing - ARGH, middle school!) so I allow it, but I cringe.

I guess, rather than complaining about it, I better start writing letters and going to a board meeting or two! Why don't schools link the foods the kids eat at lunch at 12 P.M. to the lack of concentration and irritability that happens about 2:00 P.M.?? Seems pretty logical to me!

Green Bean said...

Pretty crazy that schools don't connect the dots. You never know. I foresee reading an article about you in Time magazine a year from now. How the Trash Lady took on the school lunch in suburban Detroit and rocked it!

Annie said...

I just have to say...this is the best book that I have read in a long time. I could read it over and over again and never get tired of it. It did make me want to move away from the desert (Las Vegas) to the hills of Tennessee and grow my own food. I try so hard to grow things here, but they always seem to die. Great choice!

eco 'burban mom said...

I agree, best-book-ever! I wish I didn't check it out from the library... This is one I wish I owned! I keep renewing it because I am not ready to give it up...

Gypsy said...

What a cool way of reviewing the book - love it. I read AVM and just didn't love it as much as I was hoping too (given that I am the queen of our local farmers market!) but I must must get it out again and reread it.
Love your blog - only just found it but am really enjoying reading about your journey.