I know I’m way behind, but a few weeks ago I finally got around to watching the documentary Food, Inc. and my world was turned upside down. I guess a part of me always knew that I should really think about where the meat I buy was coming from, but when all was said and done, I was usually basing my purchases around what was on sale that week.

I’m a fan of buying organic food, but so many things are labeled “organic” without really being certified organic, so essentially, you end up buying peace of mind without really knowing the facts. And one fact I wasn’t aware of was how much of the meat in grocery stores are coming from places that bulk up their animals with corn, antibiotics and growth hormones (ever notice how much larger a brand-name chicken breast is in comparison to an organic one?).

Take beef, for example. Cows are created to be grass-fed. It’s what they’re biologically made to eat. But these corporations are bulking them up on corn because it makes them bigger faster and it’s just plain cheaper. However, by eating the corn, they’re more susceptible to bacteria such as E. Coli…which in turn, makes US more susceptible to it. How many meat recalls have you heard about over the years where peopled died? It’s SCARY.

What’s more, it turns out that if these cows were switched to a grass-fed diet, within days the E. Coli would be gone. Can you believe it?

I sat through this movie with my mouth on the floor. I felt so naive and foolish. Why hadn’t I been paying attention? Heck, why hadn’t I even questioned where my food came from?

That changed the very next day. I began reading the labels on the meat…seeing where it came from, how the animals were fed, looking for the official Certified Organic seal. Yes, it’s more expensive, but to me, it’s worth it. We don’t eat a lot of beef, but we sure eat a lot of chicken. And after seeing how Big Name Company chickens are raised…omigod. One day when we’re in a bigger home, I’d love to have an extra freezer where I can store locally harvested meat.

I had already made the change to organic in my produce after those scary spinach recalls, made a change in even our apple juice after the news broke that most of the “good” juice brands were importing apples from China and contained traces of lead. Now more than ever, being a mother has made me want to put the most pure food into our bodies as I can.

What else can we do? Buy local. Take advantage of farmer’s markets. Budget to be able to afford to highest quality in meats, dairy and produce. Sure, it might mean skipping some “extras” like the $4 cookies or something, but for me, it’s worth it.

If you haven’t seen Food, Inc., I recommend it whole heartedly. It changed my world, it might change yours too.

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