Monday, February 2, 2015

I bought cheap strawberries and I will NOT apologize

Social media has done some really good things for our society .I can keep in touch with my family members who live far away, see pictures of my best friends kids on a daily basis, follow updates from my favorite authors and know who in my circle of acquaintances has the barfs so I can avoid them.
All good things.

Social media, however, has also turned us into a bunch of raving lunatics. Everything is going to kill us. Have you noticed? The government is going to take our guns...and kill us. The chemicals in our blue jeans are going to soak into our skin...and kill us. Vaccines, antibiotics, forward-facing car seats, standing within eighty-seven feet of a microwave? You're dead. And if you want to eat non-organic produce? Well, I just hope your life insurance policy is up-to-date.

Y'all, I'm a dead woman walking.

I'm not going to lie and say I don't have my soapbox issues, I totally do. And I have been known to voice my opinions in no uncertain terms. Actually this is one of those times. I think we need a chill pill, a big one, because even though we all mean well, we have a problem. Because we are so busy trying to save everyone with our opinions, we're driving ourselves, and everyone else, nut-bar-crazy.

So, to the person who grows their own produce in their backyard, next to their corn-fed chickens, you're amazing. Seriously, you're kind of my hero. Your food is fresh, delicious and you're able to sustain yourselves. This is incredible and I am so happy for you. But the idea of having to plant and maintain a garden at this particular point in my life feels a bit like preparing for a colonoscopy.

To the person who carefully and meticulously scours the labels at Whole Foods, creating perfectly balanced menus to accommodate the nutritional needs of your family, making sure to avoid things grown with anything other than sunshine and glacier water, you also are my hero. I admire and respect your quest to keep your family healthy. My hat is off, waving and singing a song to you. I mean that sincerely.

To the person who had to buy the pesticide soaked strawberries at Kroger because they were two for four dollars, I get it. I know that you'd love to buy those organic strawberries or plant your own. But it's not in the budget. In fact, buying these four dollar strawberries might mean that you can't buy the cute sweater you've been eyeing since before your last birthday, or the mascara that you wouldn't have to wet-down and swish out of the tube. I understand. And guess what? You're still my hero.

Advocating for healthy eating? Awesome. Posting articles about the benefits of growing your own produce, making your own organic baby food and the dangers of pesticides in farm-grown strawberries? It's okay. But sharing vague and under-researched posts about how those farm-grown strawberries are poisoning our children? Not okay. Feeding my kids cheap strawberries may not be as good as feeding them ones I grew in my backyard but I am not pouring antifreeze into their cheerios (which, by the way, are also Kroger brand). I am not poisoning my kids. I am feeding them strawberries. And I, for one, don't appreciate being told that I'm killing them by doing so.

The problem with our frantic and obsessive social posting is that it could, unintentionally, lead us in the opposite direction of our goal. Maybe we should consider that some will take from our messages that nothing they do will be enough. Our health, safety and the well-being of our families is entirely impossible. Unless we can subscribe to all the guidelines posted by every article-wannabe (the accuracy of online "research-based" articles is a rant for another day) that we see in our news feed, we are doomed. So why bother trying? It's never going to be enough. Is something we post going to encourage someone to skip strawberries all together because they can't afford the organic ones from the locally-owned and operated produce market? Is a mother going to cry herself to sleep because her child refused to take a single sip of the green smoothie she slaved over and begged for a Gogurt instead? Is she a failure? Are we making others feel lazy, incapable or uncaring because they picked up Little Ceasar's on their way home one night, instead of making quinoa-stuffed bell peppers?

I hope not.

Maybe we can all resolve to think before we post, relax a little bit and try to enjoy this thing called life. As the old saying goes, no sense crying over non-organic strawberries!