I know by now that were it not for my regularly scheduled weekly grocery shopping my family would eat each other.
If we go more than a few days without snacks in the house Chris starts forlornly loitering around the pantry absently pawing at the space on the shelf where chips normally reside.
The produce drawers go virtually unnoticed. That is until I ask from the living room "What is that stench?". Or I make my own cider without trying. Whichever comes first.
I was a vegetarian for most of my early 20's. I belonged to dozens of vegan organizations, wrote many a term paper on animal cruelty and wore t-shirts that said things like "Meat. It's What's Rotting In Your Colon."
Then I got pregnant. And the child wanted blood. Chicken would not suffice. It needed to be big bloody burgers with cheese and preferably fries and a shake. Mmm...and pickles. Extra sauce.
Anyway. Don't blame me; blame the blood-sucking baby.
Since abandoning vegetarianism five years ago I've tried to keep a fairly healthy albeit flesh-filled kitchen. I've made it my mission to get vegetables into these people without their knowledge at least every fortnight (tip: pureed zucchini and broccoli in all homemade sauces; they'll never see it coming). I consider myself pretty knowledgable about health and nutrition and feel confident in my menu decisions.
That said, do you have any idea how many potato chips we eat around here? Or when we want a snack, how often it's Cheerios? (How can that be wrong? They're OATS for godssake. Horses eat them.) And when we're feeling especially naughty, how often that includes McDonalds fries?
I've managed to protect my family from donuts and Cheez Whiz and e.coli, yet apparently I'm hand-feeding them CANCER.
Can you believe that link? There's 60 times the amount of acrylamide in a bowl of Cheerios than is allowed in your drinking water!
So, what do you do with this information? How do you know where to draw the line? Or blur the line for your family's enjoyment?
I'm trying to avoid going into hyper-obsess mode (Seriously. There's a switch on my bellybutton). But, after reading this article my first reaction was to immediately throw away the half full bag of Reduced Fat Ruffles in the pantry. Then I stood there looking at the Cheerios (my daughter's favorite) and Wheat Thins and thought "Am I overreacting?".
Sure, we would like our families to eat nothing but whole foods fresh from the farmer's market but is that a reasonable expectation? And, if so, am I failing them?
I mean I've already banned trans fats, red meat, and nitrates. And hookers and porn. What reason will Chris have to stay around anymore?
How do I find the balance between health and fun? Between protection and deprivation? Is there such a thing as knowing too much?