If you’ve been reading up on food politics, then Food, Inc. is probably just a refresher course. But if, like me, you need reminding every so often, I recommend the movie. For me, it was a major validation of the concerns I’ve felt about what we feed Leo.
Just days before I saw the film, I happened to ask Aaron if I’ve changed in any ways he didn’t expect since becoming a mom. “I’m amazed by how much you seem to care about every bite Leo eats,” Aaron answered. And I shouldn’t have been surprised. Aaron’s family is not as food focused as mine, and while he’s a much more political person than I, he’s not a big fan of complications that get between him and a meal. In fact, he’s not interested in seeing Food, Inc. and if he did, he probably would be very annoyed to find his heartstrings tugged by the story of Barbara Kowalcyk, whose 2-year-old son died from E.coli poisoning after eating a burger. But I’m energized.
And, as it happens, I’m not only the one who cares so much about what we eat, I’m also the one who mostly takes charge of our home food (that Mr. Softee near Aaron’s work, well, I’m not in charge of that). Not that I don’t occasionally eat junk, order meat at restaurants where I know it won’t be sustainably raised, and, darnit, crave corn syrup–laden sour gummy candy whenever times get tough (my first paper deadline for school is this Thursday!). But my general approach is to buy and cook fresh, local produce supplemented with organic dairy, eggs, and animal products. And if I care about feeding my husband and myself that way, you can bet I care a thousand times more about how we feed our son.
Aaron does more than his share to support this lifestyle. He works at our local food coop, takes Leo to the farmer’s market, and helps cook. But this summer, while I’m in Vermont with Leo and Aaron’s home in New York from Monday through Thursday, I worried Aaron would slip back into his Wonder bread ways, and I wouldn’t have time to shop for and cook good produce.
I needn’t have worried. This is the first season that our neighborhood has organized a CSA , so we signed up. Aaron picks up our veggies on Wednesday night, and drives some of them up in a cooler on Thursday night, passing right by not only the farm they come from, but countless others on the way. It seems a bit absurd. But you know, the enormous cabbage that spent a night in Brooklyn last week before my mom turned it into a soup up here in Vermont probably still logged fewer food miles than the ones in many neighborhood supermarkets. And I have never seen Leo eat so many vegetables. Thanks to Aaron, my mom, and "our farmer," this is proving to be one of the healthiest, most delicious summers ever.