Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Farm Fresh

 I was recently reading a blog that
was discussing the treatment of farm animals and organic foods and the
fact that Christians are not speaking up for what is good and right in
this area. A few things about me before I delve into certain aspects
that have stuck in my craw - so to speak.

1. I believe in God's mandate to take dominion, but I also believe
strongly that we are to be good stewards of the land, creatures, and
all things God gives us.
2. We eat meat and all sorts of veggies, fruits, and milk products.
3. We as believers should care about how animals as well as crops are treated and harvested.
4. I do NOT believe that animal and human genes should be combined in any form.

Now, my frustration:

From my recent blog reads I have gleaned that buying organic is the
very best for my family and that buying meat straight from the farmer
is the greatest way to go. I would not disagree that either of those
things is probably better than what I am buying, but what if I cannot
afford it? Am I doing a disservice to my children because I buy from
the regular corner grocery store? Am I somehow doing irreparable damage
because I am trying to live within my means? Does this equate to me not
caring about my children’s health? Isn’t God sovereign in our
children’s lives even when we cannot afford organic/farm fresh? Just
last week I went to the local natural foods store and one gallon of
organic milk cost me close to $6.00. I bought it because we were there,
it was needed, and I really didn’t want to make another stop with five
children on the way home, but I could never afford to buy that on a
regular basis! To buy two gallons at the grocery cost me less than the
one at the natural foods store.

I guess I am vocalizing my sadness at the idea that I somehow care less
for my children or that if I don’t buy this way or don’t talk about it
with my Christian friends that it in some way equates with me not
caring about how farm animals are treated or what is in our crops.
Different people are created for different ministries – what you may be
passionate about may not be what I am, but that does not equal detached
indifference. While I might *prefer* to buy organic, I have never been
able to do so because of the cost. I don’t know any farmers and I don’t
live near any – so what’s a mother to do? Even if I was to meet a
farmer, how would I possibly know he had never treated his
cows/pigs/chickens with anything? There is only so much in this life
that I as a Christian can be and only so much that I can do within my
financial framework.

It is tiresome to be told what I ought to be doing as a Christian in
areas that are not clearly delineated in Scripture. I don’t feel the
need to tell you what you ought to be doing as a believer, but if you
wish to stand firm for what is right in farming/animal husbandry, I am
all for it and in great support of you. Please do not think that I view
you as somehow off your rocker, or that I think you are a “leftie”
because of it - I just may not have the same passion.What I do have a
passion about, I will share with you, but just because it is not the
same thing does not make me wrong; just different.

Warmly written,


wrose said...

Hmmm... seems to me I have read this post before. ;-) I just wanted to tell you, Kate, that I agree with you. We have struggled financially all through the years of our marriage, and have often felt we were not giving our children what they needed. But I know now that our best, within the boundaries of what the Lord has provided for us, IS what they need. My husband and I strive to provide the best nutrition for our children. But we don't want to forget that just as important is serious attendance to the verses that say, "Godliness with contentment is great gain," and "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."


MelM said...

Hey Kate,

Just a side note here...since I do try to buy mostly organic (and you're right, it ain't cheap! lol) If you have a Costco nearby...check there. My local Costco carries tons of organic products now. I buy Horizon organic milk boxes (like juice boxes, but, well, milk) there in bulk cases, cases of 3 half-gallon 2% for $6.99 (my local grocer charges $3.29 for a half gallon, or $2.50-$3.00 if I buy the store brand). It's not a huge discount, but it's better than nothing and helps me swing it more often.

Also, sign up at the websites of your favorite organic companies for coupons. Seventh Generation offers about $10.00 in coupons on their site for folks who sign up for their e-news...and other offer similar programs.

AND of course check out the current issues of TOS for coupons on Bob's Red Mill grains. :-)

I'll blog about this on my own "turf" some time too...but also...produce is something that is often pricey in the grocery stores...but even those without tons of space can make small scale attempts at growing organic produce at home. Many items that are hit with pesticides pretty heavily in "standard" farmin procedures are things that we can grow in containers at home. Yes, it might take a while to get to the point where one could support a family on one's own garden...but even if it's just a couple of strawberry plants here and some lettuce in a window there...it helps a bit. And seeds are way cheaper than bags of baby carrots. ;-)

Just some thoughts on how I do it on a super-tight budget myself.

One other comment that I MUST make...You're right. It is not up to members of any faith to make us cast doubt upon our parenting skills/capability if we aren't doing everything they are. People can feed their kids organic junk food all day...it's organic, but it's still JUNK FOOD. ;-P 'nuff said. You know me well enough to know what I'm thinking about someone telling you these things.

My thought is...I buy organic when I can...if I can. I prefer organic. But you know what? I also spend my hard-earned money on a case of Dr. Pepper during those Costco trips as well. Life goes on. heh heh.

Love ya!