With three kids ages 9, 11, and 14, life can sometimes seem like a bit of a time warp. My fellow moms come from so many different walks of life. Some can whip up a hearty taco dinner for fifteen teenagers with a 30-minute notice. There are the ones who always have a cooler full of fruit and granola in their car for the entire Cub Scout troop. And there are the ones who balance babies on their hips and mix organic mac and cheese while waiting for the school bus.
But, in the midst of all this motherhood, we all wonder what to feed our masses. Because let’s face it, kids have to eat. Food brings us together. The family meal is one of those times when calm settles over us all, and we can reconnect and rejuvenate.
So, when I started hearing words like organic, raw, hormone-free, cage-free, and non-GMO (to name a few) among my mom friends, I wondered if I was still doing what was best for my growing brood. I’d been so wrapped up in soccer practice, homework, and school book fairs that I hadn’t really thought much beyond a balanced diet AND my limited budget. Soon I took note of these labels in the grocery store . . . and the higher prices attached to them. I wondered, “Is it really worth it?” But, the more people I asked, the more confused I became.
That’s when I decided to become a Field Mom and visit Illinois farms, talk to farmers and learn about how food is processed. After all, who else could answer my questions better than the people who grow them? Since joining the Field Moms, (henceforth known as ‘City Moms’), I’ve visited a corn and soybean farm, cattle farm, dairy farm, and see behind the scenes at the grocery store. I’ve talked to seed company representatives, farm families, veterinarians, members of the growers association, and nutritionists. And you know what? I finally know exactly what my family needs to eat and why. I’ve had ALL my questions answered — and then some. I’ve learned that other people’s choices are simply that: other people’s choices. There’s no one way to shop, and there’s no one way to eat. Fortunately, our marketplace offers enough options for everyone.
If you are confused and looking for facts about food production and labeling, become a 2015 City Mom by completing an application at http://www.watchusgrow.org/ by November 15. You will not regret this opportunity. Visit the farms. Talk to the farmers — then, tell your friends!