We live in the golden age of information. Anything you could ever want to know about can be accessed in moments. Encyclopedia’s are a things of the past (just ask any young person…they’ll go “encyclowhat?”) It is on the one hand glorious. The internet to me often has the same effect a good library does. When I was a girl I distinctly remember getting my first library card. I was SO excited, finally I could check out my own books with my own card! I took my time scrawling my signature on the back. It was a dark salmon piece of paper slipped into a protective plastic sleeve. It was my ticket to anything I could imagine!
That is more or less exactly how I have always felt walking into a library. So. Much. Knowledge! FOR FREE!!!!!! nerdgasm. Endless possibilities, and not just in the fiction, I was a very avid non-fiction reader, particularly if it was to learn how to do something new. Now before I get too excited, because I could carry on about the benefits of libraries for ages, and my deep sorrow that my current local library is far too small and staffed by a much-too-friendly pedophile….Lets get back to the internet. Which is sort of like the most gigantic library that has ever been created, but the internet is much trickier and not as friendly as a library. The internet is also a place for social gatherings where everyone has something to say about everything. Can you imagine if people did that in the library? It’d be really, really noisy… But here’s the thing about the internet. You log on, surf the web…and are bombarded with everything you SHOULD or SHOULD NOT be doing, what you SHOULD or SHOULD NOT be eating, etc. Whatever it is probably will probably make you fat, give you cancer, kill the planet, or kill yourself. Or on the other end will make skinnier, healthier, save the planet and you will live to be 200. This EXHAUSTS ME!
Until recently I read with great interest articles about everything and anything, but for the sake of this post we’re going to talk about food. We all need to eat it, it has a big impact on our lives and to some extent it’s one of the few things we control. As I’m sure you are all aware there is quite a stir in the food industry. Everything must be ORGANIC, ALL NATURAL, NO PRESERVATIVES, NO MSG, NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, EAT THE DIRT! (but make sure it hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides) My least favorite diet-fad is this gluten free crap. I’m sorry, but bread is delicious. noodles are delicious, rice is delicious, gluten is DELICIOUS!!!! Now I am not pleased about how these big corporate entities grow-raise/process food, I’m not a fan of pesticides, not a fan of animal abuse, not a fan of super-processed meal-in-a-box. I’m not crazy about the idea of cancerous produce. For a while I tried very hard to only buy natural or organic…but alas it wasn’t to be. Why? Because I’m poor and live an hour away from high quality produce/meat. I do not have land (or time) for a garden, Container gardens don’t really produce enough to grow much more than herbs and maybe a tomato or two. Maybe I’m lazy, maybe I’m not trying hard enough, maybe I don’t care enough. But I am so tired of being told every time I turn around that this will kill me, or that will kill me. That will make you fat. Can’t we just have a meal without fretting about every bite we take? I hate being made to feel guilty for the way I choose to live.
I read about all the SUPER foods, about the dirty dozen, I read it all. I believe it’s wise to be informed about what you are eating, what you are using (especially on your body), about the impact you have on your surroundings. But this knowledge was becoming a burden. It was dragging me down and stressing me out. I believe what you do with your knowledge is just as important as obtaining it in the first place. I reached a point where I just gave up. This “all-natural” life is simply not possible for us right now. Someday maybe, but not right now.
So here’s what I do now. I gave up worrying,( which I suspect I’m genetically inclined towards….) But for real, God and I had a talk about a month back, I would/could worry myself literally sick, I would lie awake worrying. And what for? I don’t know. So I said “God, I’m tired of worrying, you said not to, so instead I choose faith. You got this.” How much happier-calmer I have been since I made that decision. There are still times where worry tries to creep up, but I beat it down with a prayer. I no longer worry that everything I eat will give me cancer, I do not worry if I can’t buy the 100% natural-organic-renewable clothing, shoes, food, furniture etc. I do however give thanks for the things that I have, and am able to buy, even if it was made in china. I eat what makes me happy. (no I don’t eat cake all day…) Which for me has meant a more “from-scratch” diet. Eggs, whole grains, real butter, vegetables & fruit (usually canned or frozen), we don’t eat a lot of meat (much to my husbands disappointment.) Drink primarily water, coffee and tea. Sweeten with honey, white or brown sugar. Occasionally we splurge and go out to eat, (though now fast food hits me really hard…and not in a good way.) Whole grains are a must and cost the same as white these days. I avoid high fructose corn syrup like the plague, and try to buy natural products when it makes sense economically. But if the natural can of corn is 20cents more expensive than the regular kind…I’m buying the regular kind.
I don’t know if anyone else feels beat-up by this age of information. (Though chances are, if you spend any amount of time on pinterest in particular you know what I mean.) But I did for a while, until I decided that was not the way I wanted to live!
So I have shed the burden of guilt that the information age tries to place upon us all. I eat what makes me happy, I eat as-whole-as-possible foods, and we eat like kings! We recycle the majority of what is recyclable, we support local businesses whenever possible, we walk or bike when practical and try to be good stewards of our surroundings. (Just ask the little boy I
scared lectured about throwing rocks at otters last summer…) I do not re-use every little thing, I don’t make everything from scratch, I don’t cook dinner every night (or even every other night for that matter!) I don’t keep a spotless perfectly organized home. We, like most of you, live in reality. I would rather spend my time doing things that make me happy (or keep us alive and well). I use the knowledge I have gleaned to improve rather than control my life. And if we go to wal-mart and order a value-meal from Mc-D’s every now and then…I suspect it won’t be the end of the world.