Do you eat real food?…

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Saturday March 19th (holy cow!), 2011

Dearest Sister of my Heart,

You know me, always well intentioned but not always the best at following through.  Most ventures I embark upon never come to fruition (at least not in their entirety).  I have to say, I’m amazed I’ve made the cloth diaper thing work.  My perseverence has truly paid off (quite literally) and I would not give a moment’s hesitation to introduce other families to modern cloth diapering when it’s so much better for baby, the environment, AND the pocketbook!  That, however, is another topic for another day (let me know if you are interested and I’ll share my experience with you).  Here is something I am really looking into now.  “Real Food“.  I’m doing some research and it’s something I’d like to pursue for my household but will take a substantial investment of time and dicipline on my part.  Actually, like anything in life, it will probably be a slow gradual process.

It all stems from the desire to care for my family to the utmost of my power …things usually do.  A dear friend of mine here also has a baby who will be starting to drink milk soon and we began talking about how to give our kids the best possible option available here (preferably not pumped full of hormones and antibiotics – although I have since discovered that most Costa Rican cows are actually grass fed and raised on small farms, YAY).  She is investigating the practices and processes of the major dairy company here and I am looking for alternative options like local independent dairy farmers or goat’s milk.  We will share our research findings with one another and go from there.

(Now I am soooo excited because yesterday I might have found a company here in San Jose that delivers organic and raw groceries like raw or unpasturized milk and butter straight to your door once a week!  The reason I’m so pumped is that finding organic food here, particularly certain produce and meat -for which it is really advisable to buy organic, is really difficult.)

I’ve been reading a lot over recent years about locavores and The Real Food Movement.  I think if we were living in the States I would have made the effort to convert and cook nothing but organic “real food” by now.  Living in Costa Rica, however, makes life a little more interesting because we don’t have the same resources available to us and you cannot always trust the standards that are claimed (it’s hard to know if “organic” is really organic and so on).  Like anywhere, they are great with some things and horrible with others.  In general, Costa Ricans eat a more healthy diet, lots of beans and rice (the staple to every meal) and fresh produce!  The problem is that most things other than the produce are super over processed, have boatloads of sugar, or are laced with MSG.  So I have found it difficult at times to make the healthiest choices for my family with the product I have to work with.

Seems to me that all of these things that I have begun to find a passion for in recent years (gardening – which I desperately want to do but definitely don’t do… please do not be mistaken, cloth diapering, investigating plastics – and kicking as many of them to the curb as possible, hanging my clothes to dry, unplugging – with my husband’s help b/c I ALWAYS forget to when I’m done with it or get distracted, reusing, buying used baby clothes, etc…) they are all about simplifying life and good stewardship of what God has given us.  I like that.  Not all of them make life easier, but don’t confuse simplicity with convenience.  While there will never cease to be certain things that I truly feel I need for convenience (because I am the mother of two small children and, lets face it, I only hang on to my sanity by a small thread most days anyway), it doesn’t mean that those things can’t be the exception.  Won’t simplifying life clear up space for the important things?  And while these things may make a little more work for me around home, isn’t there a difference between being busier and being more invested?  Hmm… I think so, especially if there is the promise of a great return on the investment.  Returns like children who are healthy and have a greater chance of not contracting cancer during their lifetime, fewer trips to the doctor b/c everybody’s bodies are well fed and strong, honoring God by respecting the resources and the world He’s given us, more time doing productive things with my kids (I LOVE it when the little man wants to help me cook)…

Going green has been an easier, more natural process than I would have expected… what about you?  Any tips to make a smaller impact on the natural world and a greater investment in your family?

Plus, let’s be honest, you cash in on the dividends daily!  Less money on electric bill, (in my case, WAY less money on diapers/wipes,) lower water bill… ok, so a little extra cash towards buying organic, but it’s totally made up for by cutting out the processed foods!

Overall… seems like a good pay-out to me.

Slowly going green in Costa Rica,

The Epistolarian


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