Deprecated: The called constructor method for WP_Widget in wpex_recent_posts_thumb_widget is deprecated since version 4.3.0! Use __construct() instead. in /home/usi4rw6m6ztg/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4871
Mom Shaming the Organic Way - Outside The Box

Mom Shaming the Organic Way

Mom Shaming the Organic Way

Move aside co-sleepers and disposable diaper buying parents – when it comes to parent shaming these days it’s all about what’s in your grocery cart.



This is what I spotted in my Facebook feed this morning that prompted me to finally sit down and write about this new form of mom shaming. Now I realize this quote doesn’t sound all that bad does it? It actually seems rather innocuous. And perhaps it is. But for me this was just that tiny little straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. I’ll admit I haven’t done much “foodbabe way” research (ie google) on the issue of antibiotic free meat so I don’t have a firm opinion either way. It sounds like something worth considering. There are countries, like here in Canada, that are attempting to crack down on the use of antibiotics use in livestock so that might mean something. But what really caught my attention was “Hey Food Babe Moms out there…” And not just because of the completely inappropriate use of the ellipsis. But because her call to action was to moms. And this is a new trend. Instilling fear into the hearts of parents. I think it’s also relevant point out that Vani Hari., aka The Food Babe, is not a mother. Now wait, I know, there are plenty of professionals that don’t have children – doctors, teachers, early educators, etc. who’s advice is worth taking. This is not an example of one of those. This is a food activist with zero background in what she is trying to force feed the public. And she’s not the only one. Ms. Hari is just one example in a sea of fear mongering “activists” that are helping people, including parent’s, make misinformed, and often bad, choices.

Let’s set something straight here – I am not anti-organic. If you were to take a look in my fridge or pantry right now it’s likely you will find a product or two that is indeed organic. I don’t go out of my way NOT to buy organic, nor do I go out of my way TO buy organic. My purchasing decisions are based on many factors including nutrition, price, availability and ingredients.  I am comfortable that the knowledge I have, which I tend to get from reputable and trusted sources, is sound enough to make smart decisions when it comes to feeding my family. But not everyone feels that way.

mom shaming


This right here is the kind of crap that needs to stop. First, let’s stop and think about how extremely fortunate many of us are to even have choices when it comes to the food we buy and feed to our families. That is a privilege that millions of people do not have. And it’s not just the underfed, malnourished people that live in third world nations. I know it’s hard for some people to think globally (although please give it a shot) so we can even think closer to home to drive this point home. Many, many families live on a very limited income. It can be a challenge for them to provide their families with healthy, nutritious food. The fact is organic costs more. I’ve heard many people argue that’s not true but it is. I’m sure there is the odd exception but the VAST MAJORITY of time the organic option is going to cost significantly more than the traditionally grown food. I find in most cases where people argue that organic is not more costly, or even less costly, their comparisons are such a huge stretch they are laughable. For example I read an arguement, thank you again Food Babe, that organic french fries are less expensive than non organic. But the argument fell flat when I realized they were comparing buying fast food fries to buying a bag of organic potatoes and making your own fries at home. You know what’s even cheaper, and just as healthy than the option provided here? That’s right, you guessed it,  buy a bag of traditionally grown potatoes! Now let’s compare potatoes to potatoes.

So we can talk about budgets and the cost of food and how spending more money on food that is not proven to be healthier is just not a priority for some parents. We can also talk about the other glaring problem here. When you give the stink eye to that mom who’s basket is not full of organic food you are assuming that you know better than her. You are assuming that you have put more time and effort into “researching” food safety and nutrition. You are probably wrong. There is a very good chance that she cares just as deeply as you do about what she feeds her family and that she has done her homework. It is likely that she, like this mom right here, has done a lot of reading, has waded through the crap and has made her decision based on what she believes to be true.

So you go ahead and eat what you want to eat. Spend what you want to spend. You are doing what you believe to be the best thing for your family. I can get on board with that. Just remember, that eating organic or not organic or gluten free or paleo or however you chose to eat does not make you superior. It doesn’t make you smarter. It doesn’t make you more aware. It doesn’t give you the right to shame anyone else about their choices.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Unless your thoughts begin with “But Dr. Oz said…” or “But I read on Natural News…” in that case just move on please.

This article has 10 comments

  1. But Dr Oz said HE read in Natural news that having your own opinion and thoughts about food is dangerous to your health . BAHAHAHAHAHAHAA love your Blog.

  2. Love you Shayna! I tried the all organic way and it is just not sustainable or rational at this point. My kids are kids, they eat a bit of everything and it does not make me a bad mom or superior, but I will not shame others or have them shame me. Be jealous of our boxed mac and cheese 🙂

    • Oh I'd be lost without my fall back mac and cheese. Although I do admit I occasionally buy the organic mac and cheese because it comes in cute rabbit shapes 😉

  3. Love this post. I totally agree. I buy what I can afford and what I know my child will eat. Why would I spend a fortune on organic or non GMO food if no one is going to eat it.  I do not allow people to tell me what we should and should not eat. I have gotten into disagreements with others for that exact reason. Don't tell me child McDonalds or Burger King is junk food an not good for you then take her there. My daughter loves chicken nuggets and that is what she usually wants, to her it doesn't matter where we get them from. My daughter was told not to have chocolate milk early in the morning, from a person drinking it , because chocolate milk isn't good for you, yet it is given to them in schools.  We buy fruits and vegetables (my daughter's favourites)  I make choices for my family an I. If someone is going to tell me what I should and shouldn't eat, maybe they should buy the food. Until then, the choice is ours. 
    My recent post Chocolate Brownies from Scratch

    • It's all about moderation and all around healthy choices isn't it? I'm not afraid to take my broccoli loving daughter to the Golden Arches once in a while 🙂

  4. I had to Google "ellipsis" and it turns out that I use it all.the.time and inappropriately to boot… I wonder if that's bad for the health of my family. If it is, please don't tell anyone, I really hate it when I get the stink eye.

    Besos Sarah.
    My recent post Create a Fun Birthday Tradition by Asking Your Kids These Questions Each Year

  5. You know how much I love you and I love your blog, right? I have to say that this was probably one of the most thought-provoking posts I've read in ages. Well, apart from Sarah Schultz's posts on this topic!  

    I do believe we need to feed our families good, wholesome, healthy food.  I also think that a little bit of knowledge (cherry-picked knowledge) can be dangerous because people just run with the snippets of info they know and shove it down everyone's throats.  I'm saying this because I'm a beef farmer's wife and farmers lately (and food growers in general) have been getting jabs all over the internet because of people who propetuate misinformation.  

    About vaccination in cattle?  I'm not going to get into arguments with people about vax vs. anti-vax, but I will say this…In order to PROTECT the health of the herd, you need to vaccinate.  If one animal gets sick, it can wipe out an entire herd.  This can result in a lot of pain and suffering, and even kill off all the animals (worst case scenario). Anyway, that's just my two cents 🙂 
    My recent post Fall in love with something new from Tim Hortons! {Giveaway}

  6. I work at a health food store/grocery just like Whole Foods and everyday, I can only think of people and families who live on a limited budget just like mine. Some can spend up to $500 of organic produce, groceries, and other stuff in just one shopping trip. This "trend" I guess has made me feel very inferior because I could not afford such. It's hard because when I talk to customers that I still eat at McDonald's or buy at the regular/conventional store, they would tell me, "Why?" I can only say, simple, I can't afford it.
    Although my eyes have been opened to so many stuff about organic and conventional products, I still shop at the regular store. I really don't mind. Love your post though!
    My recent post Flash #Giveaway! #Win Tickets to the Babytime Show 2015 in Mississauga!

  7. Shayna, you actually found one of the few not absolutely ludicrous Foodbabe posts. lol. You're right, though, people like making it a black and white issue and it's not… it's very grey. I started my blogging journey as organic, but abandoned that in favor of informed farming choices–many of my farmers I wanted to support were organic in principle but could not afford to pay for labelling.

    As far as I'm concerned, the only legitimate reasons left to choose organic are in wheat flour (because of the way they process commercial wheat; I've verified that it is standard practice to dry down wheat with glysophate in North America in science journals), possibly when buying leafy greens produced by unknown farmers because organic standard forbids the use of sewer sludge, which *may* contain heavy metals from factory waste, and if one really just wants to avoid gmos–but even then, organic is only required of a majority percentage of a product to earn the label "organic."

    The antibiotic part though does worry me some–and again, not a black and white issue. If an animal is truly sick, I see no reason to avoid giving it medicine (including vaccines). But some crazy figure, about 80% of antibiotics in north america, are going to farm animals and fish, and not for this reason. It's either preventative because of high density farming practice (CAFO lots and fish farms, usually), or for other reasons, like inducing weight gain. Crappy reasons, with crappy consequences for our health, because the abuse of the drugs really can mean the development of antibiotic-resistant bugs. 

    These are sorts of things that get swept under the vague term of "sustainability practices" though. CAFOs are more sustainable than pastured beef, sure, I guess. But I dunno if the conditions and the problems it'll cause in the long run are worth sustaining. We have to eat less meat. Or reduce our population. Or invent food replicators like in Star Trek, I think. STILL. All said and done, you're right; there's no point shaming people one on one… this is a factor of billions. One person changing their ways is not going to make a difference. So why should we be assholes to one another about it? Stupid mom shaming wars.
    My recent post How a Purple Backpack and My Son Taught Me a Lesson in Being Unbreakable

Leave a Reply


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers