have a condition, and I want to change my diet to be the best for my particular condition. So I seek out a doctor who is considered a specialist in the field of my particular condition, everyone with my condition sees this type of doctor and family or friends may have recommended one. So I ask him, what do I need to feed this condition? What would be the best, healthiest diet?
Wholesome, homemade, organic, fresh food. That what be what is BEST, what will keep you the healthiest, he says.
Really? I'm a terrible cook; I don't know how to do it at all. It takes so much effort to go to the store and get all those different, fresh ingredients and the time to find cookbooks and learn how to do it. I may get hurt trying because cooking is new, and hard for me. Plus I'm just so so busy and I would like other people to be able to dine with me. Isn't there another way?
Well, really, wholesome, homemade, organic, fresh food is the best. But if you can't do that then McBurger is just as good. It's not the best, but it's the next best, it's just as good. You don't have to worry about pain, or learning how to cook. It's easy you just tell them what you want, and you can get it wherever and whenever. It will cost you more though, you will be paying for every meal so you will spending a minimum of $6 a day you may have the expense and time commitment at the beginning to learn how too cook, but after that initial outlay the cost per day is practically nothing.
Great! So I can just spend a little more money but initially save time and energy and go to McBurger everyday? Thanks, doctor!
Now many of you are probably shaking your head, confused, asking what kind of doctor would say this is best. Get a new doctor! It's a nutrition question. We have learned, or are learning, that when you know (and cay say) all the ingredients that go into your food, that the food is better for you. Yet every single day in OB offices and maternity wards across the county this same conversation is happening. Mothers are being told over and over again that breast is best but formula is good too. They are being told that they need to supplement with formula before their milk comes in. I say this from my own personal experience in '05 and '07 and a friend who delivered earlier this month. We want to pretend that it's not happening anymore but it is. The pharmaceutical companies have infiltrated every aspect of maternity care and at times the formula pushing in the form of free gifts and just in case cans turns well meaning nurses into pawns of the company. Pushing product on them a way a used car salesman will push a car on a first time buyer.
Yet when anyone brings these points up, or discusses the cost to our children, and society everyone immediately screams "LACTIVIST"! Yelling about how people who are talking about the truth regarding breast feeding are starting mommy wars and accusing moms of various crimes against their children. That's not the case; it's an argument of nutrition. No one reacts this way to other nutrition discussions, and not all nutrition debates are friendly.
Jamie Oliver is not American. Yet when he comes to America criss-crossing the country telling us we are feeding our children wrong and we need to change, very few people complain. In fact, it seems as if everyone is jumping up and down, signing petitions, signing his praises. Don't get me wrong,-- I completely agree with him. The way we live and raise our kids needs to change in regard to food. Doesn't anyone see the dichotomy in embracing an outsider telling us we are feeding our children wrong and vilifying other mothers who are saying they same thing? If I stand up (which I do) and say we don't allow high fructose corn syrup in our house or bovine growth hormone and we try to eat organic when we can, most people roll their eyes at me. They say, Melissa, oh she's sorta crunchy and if they're not interested they tune me out, click away. Yet if I say breast is best and everyone should at least TRY it for the first 30 days, I am a radical lactivist who doesn't support other mothers.
A real food revolution will begin when we stop attacking mothers and realize that this is a discussion about nutrition. It's not a debate over who is a better mother. It's simply a discussion of the best nutrition for baby. Just like for our children, the best nutrition for baby is wholesome, organic and fresh. It doesn't come in a can (I know a lactation consultant who was asked for breast milk in a can) and it's not made in a lab. You might not agree with me; I don't expect you to. In our house, we have many dietary restrictions (rBGH and HFCS) that many people don't agree with. You can roll your eyes and call me crunchy, but you shouldn't vilify me. Because really, I'm not all that different than Jamie Oliver. I just think the food revolution starts at day one.
Melissa knows breastfeeding is not for everyone and that it's hard, she breastfeed both her children for 9 months and 11 months and faced many obstacles not excluding formula pushing nurses, bad latch, and 8 weeks of exclusive pumping. Both of her children got formula and both occasionally eat junk food. My breastfeeding story.
This was originally published on Chicago Mom's Blog, April 23, 2010
Photo credit: Gila Brand