Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I am not alone anymore

I have for long been waiting for the big bang in Finland. Having followed the fat/carb debate in the country right next to us, I have been astonished by the silenced, or sometimes demonized, resistance to the state dietary recommendations at home. I have been frustrated to my ears (read this: What's eating my children?) over the bad daycare food, and the effect this is having on my own children, but often feeling completely alone in my observations. I have pondered my options (of opting out of the whole daycare/school lunching offering) and looked for allies to start a food revolution. But although there is a handful of allies, I have still felt terrible alone against the big giants: state dietary recommendations & the drive for industrial sized school kitchens - There is no way out of this has been my conclusion - just try to 'keep calm and carry on'. And so we did, we got the worst health villains out of our childrens' diet (gluten for one, dairy for the other) by a medical license and the kids started being healthy. I shut my eyes for all the potentially harmful additives that my kids now are getting instead of clean real food (when substituting gluten and dairy they fill the gap with industrially processed crap) and went on with my business. Have to say, it's been very nice to have four months straight of not one sick leave day this fall. Unheard of in my motherly working life until now.

Anyways, the struggle for better food for the children is still a priority for me although not as urgent as before. It helps that we now live in a municipality where sugar intake has been restricted (but instead they now order the schools and daycares to feed the kids with only margarine, no butter...). I am still very mad that while I am literally working my ass of to keep processed crap out of my children's body, the state education system is doing all it can to sabotage my efforts. Sometimes I think to myself what the point is of running around like a mad woman to get organic this and organic that for our dinner table, when the school and daycare lunching decisions are based on the cheapest alternative option (read: lost of fake food, additives, non-organic, non-local cheap ingredients). But I still continue, because I am convinced that good food at home still does make the difference for us. So when suddenly there are several Facebook-pages appearing on this very same topic (Laatua lasten lautasilleRavintotieteiset vanhemmat) and even plans to create a registered association that will drive the interest of 'nutrient aware parents', I feel overwhelmed by happiness. Finally! Not alone anymore! Reading through the posts and comments on these pages, I then realize that many other parents are going through the same agony as experienced in our family, some have found solutions, others are still struggling in the dark. The support you can feel from just one comment, one parent commenting that they have been experiencing something similar, it is just overwhelming! And so as this school semester is about to end, I start to have faith again: tides are turning also in Finland. And knowing the Finnish Sisu- spirit, I am more than convinced that these tides will be able to move mountains. Hooray for food conscious-parenting! We can maybe still change the world, and maybe one day our children don't have to eat, as Michael Pollan put it:  "...anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food". 

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