The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.

Baby Steps to Healthy Eating

October 13, 2009 - 6:08 AM

Over the last year and a half our family has been slowly purging our diet.  It started with an experiment in getting our kids to eat more kinds of foods and me to be more financially frugal and from there it morphed into getting out major negative, artificial culprits in food and from there it morphed into food/mood/behavior/allergy studies and from there it morphed into its current state of making wise and healthy yet fiscally responsible decisions for the food our family of 5 eats.

Now, I am not a model for healthy eating or for made-from-scratch-mama or for strict-diet-due-to-necessity-mama or for total-localvore-organic-mama BUT we have implemented baby steps over the last year and a half that I believe have been better for us and what we eat (if you want a break down, I can tell you) and we are continuing to do more baby steps along the way. 

BUT the one thing I had not switched was all organic meats.  WHY?  Because of the price.  Seriously, $8/lb for chicken breast... ouch.  THEN we watched Food Inc. and I was finally stirred.  Walking home from the theatre, Josh and I decided to baby step once again and financially swing organic meat (the hopes of baby step to more, etc.). 

I bought my first $8 lb of organic, free range chicken breast from the Coop to use in making a meal for our house church.  However, neither the label or the guy at the counter, could guarantee me that it was gluten free.  Worried for our GF friends at church, I went over to another grocery store and picked up my regular package of $2.50 lb of all natural, gluten free chicken breast, just so I could make two separate batches of my main dish.  I wasn't initially planning on comparing the two chicken breasts but...

Wow!  Even upon sight, what a difference!

The organic was very light, white-ish pink and the all-natural was brighter pink.  The organic was soft and light and the all-natural was dense.  The organic sliced like softened butter and the all-natural was tough.  The organic had no fat to trim off and the all-natural had a 1/4 cup of yuck.  And the taste?  I cooked up both the exact same way and the flavors were unmatched.  The organic was absolutely delicious!

Wow!  What a difference!

Will I buy organic meats for all my meals now?  Um, no, but I'm working up to it.  Seriously, $8/lb for chicken breast... ouch.  But, I definitely see great value in the theory that if the collective we buy it, even once a week, the collective they will change their ways. 

Now, if only IC would pass the chicken coops in backyard bill...

Response to Baby Steps to Healthy Eating

  • Sarah said on October 13, 2009 - 8:31 AM

    I'm still gathering my thoughts, and I'd LOVE to talk to you more about this, but I told Jonathan last night I wanna start buying more organic meats. I watched the first half of King Corn and that's what got me. When they said that grass fed cow meat has 1.5% saturated fat and grain fed cow meat has 9%. Then thinking about all the antibiotics and such that go into the meats.... Anyways, perfect timing on your post!

  • Maren said on October 13, 2009 - 9:50 AM

    Seriously! I'm trying to convince Karl to get some chickens. Apparently it's legal here in Minneapolis to have chickens. I'm not sure he's any closer than when I started trying to convince him, though. :) I guess you can mail-order chicks for $1-$2 a piece and they come USPS to your home! (we talked to the woman who works in the chicken coop at a farm we visited recently.) I'd love more details, Dana, if you would give them. I love hearing about that kind of thing. Have you heard of the book "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon? Controversial, but quite an interesting read along the healthy eating lines. I think I mentioned it once to you, but it's based on research that a dentist did in the 1930s on the healthiest cultures in the world, untouched by modernization. Lots of fermented foods, animal meat and fat, and cultured foods, too. I'm guessing you liked the Food, Inc. movie. I've been hoping to see it sometime soon. Love you guys!!!

  • Charity said on October 13, 2009 - 10:10 AM

    I believe that HyVee stocks some chicken in their organic section that is either "all natural" (yes, I know, not regulated, but read their label) or organic. Now, I shopped the one in Coralville, so not the closest to you guys, but you might just take a look at it and see if it meets your standards. I'm thinking it was closer to $5/lb.

  • Dana said on October 13, 2009 - 10:10 AM

    Sarah - Indeed! I think it was either King Corn or Food, Inc that made the comment that if we just fed commercial cows grass for a day (or two) they would naturally clean out the majority of the ecoli in their tummies. Crazy! Ambre's buffalo supplier sounds better every day! :)! Food, Inc. was really eye opening in the production of cows & chicken, and wow, just wow. ***** Maren - You're so cool! My last comment in my post was supposed to be more comical if I would have also posted the week later article about someone releasing 50 chicken loose in our city, hahaha! But I am not ready to have chickens in our backyard just yet, as I am only finally mustering up the nerves for a small veggie garden in our yard, :), if we lived on a acreage, it'd be a different story! And yes, you mentioned that book to me! Tho again, it requires more than I have in me just yet, but with baby steps anything is possible!

  • Kari said on October 13, 2009 - 11:59 PM

    Shana's neighbor in Ames had chickens and she said she hardly ever new they were there!...no roosters i think. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is the book I'm reading now that addresses a lot of these types of issues and is a very enjoyable read besides. Has this movie already come out (food, inc.)?

  • Dana said on October 14, 2009 - 12:40 PM

    Food, Inc. was released this summer and played here in IC at the Bijou for only a week. I am sure it will be on Netflix soon. AND! I do have a gift card and I think I am going to go get me that book since I have heard about it from lots of you girls!

  • Alicia M said on October 17, 2009 - 12:26 PM

    I will voice in only to say I have some concerns about Nourishing Traditions and Weston A Price. I don't wish to start any discussion, but if you're interested in some of my thoughts, I'd be happy to share them.

  • Sarah said on October 20, 2009 - 10:23 PM

    Alicia - I'd love to hear them, would you email me?

  • Dana said on October 20, 2009 - 10:37 PM

    Me too, Alicia!

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