A while ago I was asked to write a guest post for my sister-in-laws blog, http://burlaptopearls.blogspot.com/, which in and of itself was pretty exciting, until I realized that I had no idea what to say! I was asked to write about GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) and I was completely, 100% stumped! Not because I literally didn’t know what to say, after all, I feel pretty passionately about this topic; but because I didn’t know what I had to say that was worth reading. The web is LOADED with all sorts of information, so what could I possibly have to offer that hasn’t already been written?
……and then came Easter Eve!
My mom called to let me know what she was making and to ensure that it was something we would eat (for the record, this is a mom’s love, not our unwillingness to eat anything she makes). As we were talking she mentioned that she was unusually thankful that my dad had not gone shopping with her because she had to go to three different stores in order to find what she was looking for. Typically, my parents do as much together as often as possible so the reason she was relieved made me laugh out loud (no joke!). She continued to explain that while driving around with my dad asking why they need to buy specific foods for his “tree hugging” family was not as easily accomplished as doing it herself. I was hysterical! Hysterical because while they do almost everything together, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that my dad’s idea of a good time does not include hours of running in and out of grocery stores (and I’m with him!!!!) so I completely understood the humor behind what my mom was saying. However, I was also caught off guard in the best way by either one of my parents calling us tree huggers. I think I might have simmered at a low giggle for well over a week! Although beyond the humor is a very real reality that they don’t understand. After all, a tree hugger is a, “derogatory term for environmentalists who support restrictions on the logging industry and the preservation of forests.” (Source) Hmmmm….the logging industry? preservation of forests? When in the world did wanting to eat food, real food, connect me to groups that are saving forests???? Not that I’m against saving a tree, a forest, even a single daisy; in fact, I suppose I’m for it considering we need trees in order to live (quite literally). However, I would not consider myself a tree hugger and I found it hysterical that anyone would!
It is with these questions that I chose to begin sharing some of my thoughts. Keep in mind, this is not purposed to be a documentary or a blog that offers a plethora of data, but more of a reflection on why we chose to become tree-hugging hippies who eat chemicals created by God alone with some of the aftermath regarding this decision. 😉 However, for those who may be reading about GM’s for the first time, there is a list of internet sources below that will be much more informative. 🙂
okay moving on because if you remember I began this blog by stating that I didn’t know what I had to offer in relation to our health and the environment that isn’t readily available and much better written than anything I have to say…so off this topic, and onto the next 🙂
So before I write a novel on this topic alone, which my husband doesn’t think would be enough (he actually commented on the idea that I would have volumes of books if I had the time to truly organize and lay out my thoughts….lol), let me state a basic truth: food should not, NEVER-EVER, cause divisions! ahhhhhhhh! DO YOU FEEL ME!?!?!?!? lol Okay, mini-fit thrown, now back to the blog…….
I don’t know the root cause of the divisions that I have seen, but I do know that the end result is pretty harmful, as one could expect. As more and more people begin to research food, coming to various conclusions that naturally alter their food choices, it seems that a “food cult” is forming and it is both divisive and offensive, and that is just the problem outside of the home (even within the church….oh my! right?). Inside the family, eating disorders are being formed while we “force feed” our children actual food and offensively withhold food-like substances from them at various outings. The entire situation that has begun to unfold is sad, to say the least, and it is hurtful to watch.
As I noted above, I think I could write a book about how I feel on this topic alone, but I will try to curtail my thoughts and address the seemingly obvious, with the pretense that those reading this post are Christians. That pretense is only assumed so that I can focus on the issue of division within the church family for just a moment, although the same principle should apply anywhere, in my opinion. 😉 So let’s begin by pointing out the obvious: Division within the church family should only be caused over sin issues. As a rather simplistic example, Susie constantly lies to other people about me. While I am able to forgive her, I do have Biblical grounds to “divide” myself from her because of the problems she is constantly causing. Please note, I am not harboring unforgiveness or resentment, I am at peace in forgiving her; however, I am appropriately distancing myself from her. Division. Granted, that is just one example and it is a rather silly one as it was given as a lighthearted example (although it does have a sad ring of truth to it). Food, however, outside of a glutton’s consumption, is not a sin-issue. Choosing to eat organic food, conventional food, local produce, produce shipped from East Chapepe, vegan, hoards of meat, GM’s or non-GM’s IS NOT A BIBLICAL ISSUE. However, division over these choices is. Please get that……….division over food choices is a Biblical issue: it’s a sin issue and it’s a subtle tool that is being used by satan to tear apart the family of God.
When Jeremy and I first began to alter how we ate we did so with a pretty intense passion. We stuck to our guns at all times. We were determined that Annalee (our now 19mo old) would NEVER eat a GMO, refined sugar, mass-produced animal based foods, etc and then we opened our eyes to the hurt that was being caused in the homes of others and in the church. We noticed that families who chose to eat certain ways (vegan, organic, sugar-free, etc based on their choice) were pushy about making a point of difference as opposed to being casually conversational about the difference. We noticed that we wanted to hang our heads in shame at the mere thought of being associated with people who were overpowering in their conversation and approach regarding food. Worst of all, we noticed that people were not attending various gatherings because of the food that was being served, or better yet, they were bringing their own food and eating only that. Ouch! That’s a pretty offensive move to the host or hostess! On the flip side, we also noticed that many of the children from families in which food is controlled have an obsession with junk food. A true obsession. One that caused us to really re-evaluate how we plan on balancing things with Annalee.
*in reference to the above paragraph if you’re thinking, “I know who she’s talking about” please consider the more important question: are you considering YOU 😉
So for us, all of that observing boiled down to a few basic “rules”
- at home we’re organic (almost the only way to eat non-GM foods), soy-free vegans and we love it
- when invited to someone’s home, we eat whatever is there with a smile, thankful for the fellowship
- when we have people over, we make “normal” food so that food is not the focus of the night, but fellowship is
- when we eat at large group settings (cookouts, church events, etc) we use common sense, enjoying what we are comfortable with, purposing to not cause offense
- we totally snack at home because it is fun (hence the reason I still have weight to lose…lol)
- Annalee follows all of the above rules. This means that when we go out she eats things she typically would not, and I love it for every reason described above. I want her to enjoy food without feeling as if she has to sneak it, without lecturing people on it and without feeling awkward because she might be offending someone.
I hope you have enjoyed reading a little about our journey and some of our silly reflections. 🙂