Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thank You Andrew Wilkow

In the midst of trips to the beach, library and lessons, I have continued to educate myself.  
I am reading this:

Greg and I have watched this:

As a result, together we pledged to make a few more changes to our family weekly purchases. 

  • Only organic dairy products will be purchased.  No rBGH is no longer adequate.  Lactating cows who are fed a diet or corn (and GMO corn at that) are not healthy cows.  The antibiotics that must be pumped into their systems are passed along to us.  Businesses that raise cows in confinement, hooked up to pumps are not the type of businesses I wish to support.  I am not going to mention names because of the anti-libel legislation that surrounds the food industry.  Just google your favorite brands.  You will quickly learn those that are reputable and those that are not.
  • Only grass fed beef will be purchased.  Cows that are allowed to graze in pastures, even if the pasture is small, are healthier than cows who live out their lives in CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations) knee deep in their own feces, sick, with acidic stomachs rather than neutral ones which supports the growth of E-Coli 0157:H7, destined to be slaughtered and irradiated to kill off the pathogens from the manure that coats their bodies and contaminates the machinery.  
We are researching farms in CT and NY that sell chicken and beef to consumers on-site.  So far I have found one farm in New York, only 5 minutes from the CT border, that claims to slaughter on site it the cow is purchased in advance.  This is interesting and something I will explore further.  
The amazing thing is that my girls are beginning to understand why this is so important to me.  Lilah and I had a insightful conversation regarding a famous, or infamous fast food chain.  Grace mentioned that I should work for Whole Foods.  Lilah piped in that I should open up a franchise of the popular fast food restaurant.  She explained that their sales are greater than those of Whole Foods.  She went on to say that if I am going to open up a business, then the goal should be to make as much money as possible (my little capitalist ;) .  I responded that I would not feel right about operating a business that I know will harm people’s heath.  But she countered, isn’t it our choice what we eat?  Everyone should know it is not healthy but they can eat there if they choose so therefore, the responsibility is not placed on my shoulders.  This is true.  I was amazed that my soon-to-be nine year old was so wise.  This conversation reminded me of my favorite Sirius Host, Andrew Wilkow.  I used one of his favorite quotes:  

"Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you." 
— Andrew Wilkow @ The Wilkow Majority

I explained to Lilah that we are faced with choices.  We can choose to smoke cigarettes.  We can choose to drink alcohol.  We can choose to eat food that will make us unhealthy.  But then, I should not have to pay to support your unhealthy choices.  I should not have to pay for health care for the person who gets lung cancer, or type 2 diabetes.  After all, those were their choices to make.  Therefore, I would choose to work for a company who promotes health before I would own my own company that knowingly harms.  
My kids are so cool.

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