7. Labels

Boy eating blue cotton candy

His 2am puke was the same colour!

I fully support labeling kids. We need to know at the outset what kind of person each kid is, and it is our social responsibility to inform others about their personality types. Labels help kids take on their expected roles and they help others know how to treat each kid.

Now labels on food? I’m against them. We need professionals and experts to promise us it is good for us, not nutrition data. What does it all mean anyway? GMOs, petroleum based food-dyes, high fructose corn syrup, who even notices that stuff? It’s too confusing.

You’re not really buying this crap, are you?

I LOVE labels!!!!! And my kids are learning to read them – and use them against me, which is highly entertaining.

This summer, I had a weekend getaway, so Dad spoiled them with treats like white bread – oh the horror! As soon as I arrived home, they accosted me with the Wonder+ bag, “Look Mom, 4 grams of fibre per 2 slices!” Tempting to let it rest because they had obviously picked up the most important lesson, but I am a lone soldier in the trenches of my children’s health, am I not? “Yes, but we eat bread from Silver Hills Bakery and it has 5 grams of fibre per SINGLE slice!”

I’m off on a bit of a health tangent, but my thesis is coming together, slowly, but surely.

Canadians are so fortunate. Eating seasonly is now but a romantic notion from our grandparents’ memoirs. In her memoirs, my grandmother recalls my grandfather dedicating one full day per year to picking berries. He returned home sunburned, mosquito bitten, sweaty, and exhausted, but he had collected a winter’s worth of preserves and fruit pies – imperatives for wintering in Canada.

Blueberries from the west

Grape sized berries in BC, but I’m not convinced they taste as good…

Questions about food security are bringing about Eat Local movements, along with innovative urban agriculturecommunity gardens, and fruit tree harvesting programs. One of the best lessons you can teach your kids is to look for local produce. It’s also one of the hardest (if yours love fruit like mine do).

We walk past aisles of apples and melons and berries, longing for a taste, but resist until we see the signs “BC Blueberries have a arrived!” In the off-season, I buy exotic fruits like bananas, mangoes, oranges, because I figure they’re being shipped anyway.

Ultimately, a “truly dedicated” environmentalist would be canning and preserving throughout the summer, but that’s not who I am. Maybe that’s an excuse, but it’s closer to how the general public would feel, and let’s face it, we’re more likely to see a mass social shift if we stop pressing for everyone to give up their careers and get back to the “simple life.”

My second defense against preserving my own food, is that it is unreasonable to expect individual households to have the capacity to store a winter’s worth of foods. One of my favourite tips comes from a health argument that frozen is better than canned. If you can find a local food producer that flash freezes produce and sells it through the winter, then you can still eat local without giving up your day job to prepare your winter stores. Is eating local healthier? That’s contentious, but I found a great forum on the topic that explains: food that is to be shipped is generally picked before it is ripe. The act of shipping is not a disbenefit (setting aside fuel and emissions arguments), preventing the food from fully ripening is the issue.

Labels, teach your kids to read them for nutrition and locality – SAVE THE WORLD! As far as labeling kids is concerned? The only labels I support are Mabel’s Labels. Order some, you’ll see why.

Hot tip! Teething babies LOVE frozen blueberries. They turn to mush, so I don’t think choking is a problem. Although, perhaps you’d want to stick with the strain more typical to eastern Canada. The ones out here are the size of grapes!

Read more tips, that just might work, here.


Live within limits without limiting life

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About ahemmayispeak

Environmentalist Egalitarian Engineer Writer There, I finally said it. View all posts by ahemmayispeak

2 responses to “7. Labels

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