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    Romance at the Meat Counter: My Quest for Beefy Choices

    Seeking Evening Companionship

    I am fed up with bringing home deceptive groceries, possibly hiding unwanted antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones. Can I rekindle my love, trust, and simple enjoyment with quality, happy meat? Is it possible you are out there, not overpriced? Do you exist?

    ~ Signed, Ima B. Leever 

    With no one replying to my want ad, I headed out on my own. While shopping at my local Whole Foods market, a grocery store dedicated to “selling the highest quality natural and organic products,” I rounded the grocery aisle between dairy and seafood and gasped at what I saw in the meat section. With giddy excitement, I thought perhaps I might have found my soul meat.

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    5 Questions to Ask When Considering CSA

     

    Did you know the average American meal travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate? This generates a substantial amount of carbon dioxide emissions. 

    When you make an effort to support local farmers by joining a cooperative called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), you are not only significantly reducing the carbon footprint that your food creates, but the community and local economy will be strengthened and food will be traceable.

    This is just one of the many reasons you may want to consider a CSA for your veggies. There are numerous differences among CSAs, so you may want to interview local farmers to find one that will fit the needs of your family.

    Here are some key questions to ask:

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    Making Veggies Fun: Toddlers To Teens

    Infuse Your Inner Ila

    Carving cucumbers into caterpillars and making sockets for raisin eyes just wasn't cutting it.  I wished to plant genuine-veggie-appreciation in my children but it seemed to be an ongoing battle. It had to be...fun, so I turned to "Ila." 

    “Ila” as the grandkids call her, is my dad’s wife and she has a way of turning every task into a delight. As a stay-at-home mother of three in the 70s, Pam was a self-professed slob and wrote Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise," leading her to appearances on the Today Show, Live with Regis, and Oprah.  Housework became manageable as she infused her mantra, “Make it fun and it will get done.”

    It was time to infuse my inner-Ila to tackle the reputation of veggies. This process had to be fun or it wasn’t going to happen at all. Over time, we found our own path. Here are our favorite four tips-turned-into-good-times from the parenting toolbox. 

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    I Despised Being "Sergeant No."

    Was I even a good mom today? Did my kids feel any love from me? Did we laugh or talk? 

     I despised being Sergeant No.

    After everything I unearthed during my research, I understood the world did not have my family’s health in its best interest. Constantly trying to shield them was exhausting. Modern parenting felt like pushing a double stroller through the Boston Marathon in a hailstorm while trying to protect the kiddos amidst a constant barrage of pelting, frozen peas.

    I first sensed this dark cloud when Tanner entered preschool. I was delighted for his first taste of independence and ninety minutes in a loving, nurturing environment. However, I silently observed the parent-supplied, non-birthday cupcakes twice the size of his pudgy fist, handed out for 10:00 a.m. snack. As a relatively new mom, I hadn’t found my voice. I kept my opinions to myself and rarely stood up for what I thought. Unspoken mom-pressure kept it that way. Instead, I watched the children’s eager eyes and giddy smiles as the “favorite moms” brought in frosted delights and the disappointment on their faces when I provided sliced apples and pretzel sticks.

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