Several months ago, I had the opportunity to hear Robyn O'Brien speak at a lunch at Restaurant Nora in DC. The talk was sponsored by Stonyfield. After hearing her talk, it's hard to purchase a non-organic dairy product. Robyn wrote the book "The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It", and I heard about it at the time we were wondering about Helen's possible food allergies (which we have now decided is an allergy to mussels, and nothing else). The book discusses "food sensitivities" - which seem to be reactions like Helen's (lots and lots of puking) and food allergies (the super scary get your kid to the ER RIGHT NOW!) and ultimately says both are allergic reactions, they just differ in severity. And wow am I thankful that Helen is in the former category and not the latter. One reason to prefer organic is that the probability of having some adverse reaction to a product decreases when you know exactly what the product is, without having to worry about what it's been coated in, or what's been used in growing the product. Makes sense, right? And of course, some of the chemicals used in processing are known to be unsafe at some level, so why risk exposure at any level if you don't have to?
I am all about believing in the conspiracy, and it's not hard for me to believe that big agri-business is willing to sacrifice my and my family's health in the name of corporate profits. So I made my appeal to Ed (chief grocery shopper) and now he brings home organic milk. Here's the thing - I've been a vegetarian for a long time - as are Connor and Helen, so I figure our load of all the weird stuff that's pumped into meat is pretty light - but I might as well go the next step and eliminate all the junk that goes into dairy production as well. And, if it tastes good - well that's all the more reason to go organic.
Helen and Connor give Stonyfield YoBaby! and YoKids! two thumbs up. Mostly, they like them because the yogurt is smooth, not bumpy. Helen would probably eat yogurt with whole pieces of fruit, but that's a texture path that Connor is not quite ready for.
My favorite yogurt is honey flavored yogurt from Blue Ridge Dairy. They're a local farm and though they're not organic, they don't use growth hormones. I'm not a huge yogurt fan (most have too runny of a consistency for me), but I am a huge fan of the protein yogurt provides. I was a bit scared to try something new, having finally found one yogurt at the farmer's market I like. As part of Stonyfield's yo-getter program, I was given coupons to purchase several varieties of their yogurt, and I forced myself to try the Caramel and Honey greek yogurt. And, it was actually delicious! So now, I have two yogurts I love, which I almost always have at my office for my afternoon snack (13 grams of protein)! Yum!
It's been several months since we've been mostly organic in the dairy case, and I can't say I've felt a huge change, but I am hoping that I'm at leasts incrementally improving my children's health.
Now...to go with a CSA this year as in several past years, or focus on getting to the farmer's market on Saturday morning!