Best Picture Goes To…

Today is day two of me being home sick. Wednesday night I was ambushed by congestion and a sore throat, and all ills have ignored the eviction notice and are trying to take up a more permanent residence within my pregnant, exhausted being. The plus side of all of this is I get to watch anything I want on Netflix. I’m no wild and crazy movie fanatic, so I mostly turn to documentaries. (Buzzkill…) I will tell you, though, watching these documentaries has opened my eyes to many a truth I wish I had known before entering my 30s. I might just homeschool Haley and her little sis and show them Netflix documentaries all day. Not really, but if I had learned earlier what I’m learning now – who knows? I might not be sick today! Or ever! Netflix = Best $8/mo ever spent.

It started with my sister (who is more of a hippie than I am, and I think I’m climbing the hippie ladder pretty swiftly) recommending The Business of Being Born. I reminded her that the first time I was pregnant, I made the mistake of watching the live birthing videos on (This resulted in me bursting in to tears and telling Brent I was going to stay pregnant forever, and the child within was not allowed to ever be the child-on-out.) I sat and watched TBOBB, and to my surprise (because I’m not a Ricki Lake fan, and she was the brain behind the film), I not only learned a lot, but it confirmed a lot of what I had already been questioning or thinking myself. Then, lo and behold, I see they came out with More Business of Being Born – four follow-up episodes after the film. I’ve now seen all five, still not a fan of Ricki Lake, and if the good Lord (and my husband…that’ll be a tough one) allow me to get pregnant again, things will be done differently on my end. Things are being done differently this time around anyway, but they’ll be done even more differently next time around. Regardless of where you are in your life-walk of having children, if you ever plan to birth one after today, go watch those.

Next, it was a Saturday night and Brent wanted to kill some time watching a movie. He was scrolling through the queue and asked me what I was in the mood for. He regretted asking that, I’m sure.
“I’m kind of in the mood for a good documentary.” I answered.
…..”Seriously?” he replied.
“Yes, seriously.”
After an emphatic sigh and scrolling through the documentaries, he asked if anything was catching my eye.
“I kind of want to watch that farm one.” I said.
…..”Seriously?” as if I suddenly was going to reveal the whole thing had been a joke and I would say, “Just kidding! Let’s watch Dumb and Dumber!”
He selected it, and pushed play. For the next hour and some minutes, we watched – mesmerized – Farmageddon. You know I’ve evolved over the years into a moderate food-hippie. (And please, my use of the word “hippie” means no offense to anyone who may be a hippie, doesn’t like hippies, or whatever other negative stigma is associated with actual hippies. It’s the only word I can think of, however, that captures my “against-the-norm-free-spirit” mentality without pinning me in any specific group.)

You see, I was raised by wonderful parents. They never made me eat my vegetables, except for the three times I remember gagging at the table and Mom accusing me of faking it. Mom hated (and still hates) to cook. Dinner for us was hot dogs, mac n cheese, beans and cornbread, or spaghetti. We usually had a roast on Sundays. That was the extent of cooking in our home, though. Otherwise, it was Burger King, Taco Bell, Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Carl’s Jr., You-Bee’s Take N Bake Pizza, etc. We had take out a lot, and in 30 years, they still don’t send vegetables home with their burgers or burritos. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to add them to my own diet, but always lamented the fact that they looked so good yet tasted so awful.

That all changed when I was pregnant with Haley, and decided my children were going to eat healthier than I did. This also meant I needed to eat healthier than I did. Ugh. I started doing my own research and came to the conclusion that we would make a disciplined effort to consume organic fruits and veggies, and less processed food. I started buying farm-fresh eggs, organic milk, organic produce, and as much “all natural” meat our pocketbook could afford. It hasn’t always been the tastiest result, but I’ll tell you we’re a lot better than we were (sans pregnancy…it all goes straight to crap while I’m pregnant, unfortunately) and we are definitely more intentional about incorporating healthier options into our meals. The bonus is, I actually love to cook and if you ask my dad, husband, or brother-in-law, they’ll attest I’m pretty good at it. (Bro-in-law asked Brent if he proposed to me after he’d had one of my meals.) We’ve been very intentional about buying only organic milk and produce, and have gone to great lengths to be able to afford it regularly, and incorporate it diligently into our diets. So back to the documentary.

Brent and I sat watching Farmageddon. We were disturbed at the end for different reasons. My husband is passionate about politics and the see the political influence on our food industry had him riled up. (I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘profits over people’ – your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen.) I was disturbed because here were these people trying to do the right, healthy thing, and they were being shut down and essentially bullied because…well, because they were food hippies.

Now I’m not going to get on a political soapbox, and you’re not either by the way, because that’s not my point in sharing all of this. If you get to be in my position, though, and find yourself wishing you had done things differently in your food consumption habits, I would recommend watching this and would encourage you to support your local farmers. Heck, I’m from Wyoming. 95% of my friends are farmers or are from a farming family. Farms are a big deal, and there’s a lot of crooked stuff going on to regulate how they make their living to feed the masses. Support your local farmers. Okay, now for real I’m not getting on a soapbox. Again.

Once you watch Farmageddon, chase it down with Food Matters, Food Inc (if you can stomach it…I had to cover my eyes at least twice watching that one) and The Beautiful Truth. Why am I recommending these? I’m not sure, entirely. I’ve seen them all, I’ve had my eyes opened to things I wish I’d known about years ago, and I’ve been validated in wanting to buy local, organic foods for my family. (And in wanting to grow some of my own, which I’ve wanted to do for years, but haven’t gotten around to doing yet…) I’m not trying to sway anyone one way or another. There are two sides to every story. Sometimes there are things a person learns and they think “why did no one tell me this sooner?” (i.e. “The School of Mines” is just that, not “The School of Minds”…this freakin’ hearing loss and the embarrassing things I come up with in conversations…)

Now…if anyone has some yoga videos they’d recommend, I’d be up for that too. I will not, however, be rushing out to buy Birkenstock sandals or protesting for or against any event or cause I either support or disagree with. Let’s be real – I’m a food hippie. Not an activist nut.

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