The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Organic Stickers

Going “Green” has become some sort of trendy tagline instead of a thought and action process that weaves throughout society, government and our homes.

It is a noble cause to think we can save the Earth from ourselves after so many gazillion years of ebb and flow, but it does make me wonder about the regulation of goods and policies in the now; the “Green” police.

Take organic produce for instance. I have eaten organic produce ever since I could afford it, which was well after college graduation because before then my best job had been removing staples from old paperwork at the local municipality.

Back then, I made barely enough money and thought I was invincible so I didn’t really care what I consumed, to a point. I drew the line at liver and anything still alive; candy processed beyond recognition was still fine as were any kind of artificially-flavored salted snacks. I didn’t have kids yet, so it wasn’t about saving the Earth for anyone, I just thought the food tasted better.

You see, I am of the generation whose mom cooked dinner but most of the veggie sides required a can opener to serve. Basically, I didn’t realize that fruit and veggies could actually have a flavor other than butter or salt, or both.

Then I discovered the organic section of the grocery store that was at the time very small, very expensive and very hard to find. However, living in California provided many farmer’s markets and loads of fresh produce so I persevered. I learned that apples didn’t naturally grow the size of my head and bananas more realistically compared with, well, that’s another story.

Anyway, after having kids I stayed organic for other reasons such as the slim possibility that the pesticides may hinder their neuronal growth or something. I already have a tough enough time figuring out the little guys. And, organics are becoming more accessible to us time-starved moms. The organic section of the grocery stores are getting bigger and even places like Wal-Mart are getting in on the action.

Selfishly, this concerns me. I worry about quality control. If organic farming was so good at mass production, why were pesticides created in the first place? Not that I don’t think everyone should have access to organic produce, I am just concerned that the bureaucracy of certification which is already ambiguous, may not be able to keep up.

For instance, why can we visit Mexico and get sick drinking the water but are now able to purchase “organic” produce that is mostly made up of water from there? This concerns me on many levels. Is it organic because technically the stuff that makes us sick is bacteria organically found in nature? Are they using tons and tons of bottled water to irrigate? Are they heating the stuff up to a high temperature to kill everything? This ambiguity worries me, is most probably unfounded, but it makes me skip tomatoes for the week.

This past Earth Day I was washing my natural-sized eight dollar pear that I had waited days to become ripe and peeled of the sticker. First I was annoyed that the sticker took about a dollar of surface area off the pear, and then I wondered: Is the glue that attaches the pesticide-free certified label to the fruit, organic, too?

By Jennifer O’Shaughnessy

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Funny, inventive and well written. Keep it up Sister!
Hilarious! I loved it. Very well written. I have thought some of those same anxiety-ridden thoughts before. Looking forward to the next one. - June
Thanks for the post. I, too, struggle w these ideas. I've been shooting for eating from local producers, which is fun. But it's hard to give up certain "summer" fruits/veggies that you find in the market in the winter.
So true, especially after just returning from a road trip to Mexico. I struggle with the "green thing" and the "organic thing". Like you said, why can't all veggies be grown organic, if it's so easy. I also don't know how "poorer than the US countries" deal with the water issue growing the veggies. My latest worry is the melting away of Antarctica that is supposed to happen in 2030 and not 2050. Like either date makes a difference since it is too soon for our generation and too scary to think about for our children's generation...
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