Overwhelmed? Disgusted? Not Sure What To Believe?

Posted on | May 9, 2012 | 44 Comments

There is so much controversy all over the web. It ranges from health to food, politics to schooling. Today we’re going to discuss food & health.

It seems like everyone is fighting these days. From Whole Foods being a WONDERFUL place to shop, to it being the discount store of health food stores. Do I roast the bones for stock, or do I use vinegar to make it? Do coconuts HAVE to be organic? What are the benefits of beef liver over chicken liver? Do I ferment using a specific (and pricey) vessel or will a mason jar suffice?

So many questions.

So much confusion.

So many people giving up before they’ve begun, because they are scared. They are downtrodden. They have read that that they aren’t doing it correctly. Their families are suffering because they don’t have it “just so.”

I assure you, the only Word of God you’ll find is in the Bible. No blogger is the Word of God. Not even mine!

You can only do what YOU can do. If so-n-so blogger thinks you’re doing it wrong, invite them to do it for you. I once posted in a conversation on Facebook (re: butter) that my kids would LOVE if I let them eat butter by the spoonfuls. I was answered with “Then LET them eat butter by the spoonfuls.” I would if I could, trust me, but I had to remind this particular person that not everyone makes 6 figures a year. We do not make six figures a year. Mind you, the person instructing me to allow my kids to eat butter by the spoonfuls does indeed make 6 figures.

Because I don’t feed my kids butter by the spoonfuls, does not make me stupid. It does not make me a bad parent, nor does it make me any less of a real foodie than others. It simply makes me different. I choose to allow my kids to indulge in all the coconut oil they want, sometimes sweetened with stevia, sometimes salted, sometimes melted over rice & beans or oats. When I can get coconut oil NOT on sale, it costs me about $4 a pound. It’s good quality stuff. A good quality butter will cost me no less than $7 a pound. Do they eat their butter, too? Oh. Absolutely. Just. Not. By. The. Spoonfuls. And I’m ok with that. It’s the best our family can do.

I make my bone broth. As much as I can, I use good quality grass-fed beef bones or carcasses from pastured chickens. I can’t always get that. What do I turn to? Earth Fare. I use “natural” options that claim to not have or use antibiotics, steroids, etc. And I’m ok with that. It’s the best our family can do.

I use mason jars & empty Santa Cruz bottles to ferment my foods & beverages. I would LOVE to have the money to buy some of the pricier vessels used specifically for creating the “proper” environment for fermenting. Keep in mind, our gut health is not the greatest, but nor is it so bad that we need the specific vessels. For others, they may need something that produces the ultimate in fermentation. I don’t condemn their choices. For now, mason jars & glass bottles it is. For us, it works. And I’m ok with that. It’s the best our family can do.**

My milk isn’t raw these days, folks. I haven’t found a GOOD source yet. I am waiting though. I have something planned. But I’m waiting for it. For now, I use a non-homogenized milk, with the cream at the top, yellow in colour, that’s VAT pasteurized. And I’m ok with that. It’s the best our family can do.

We rent now, so raising our own chickens isn’t an option. Again, I’m waiting for a source to come through as well. What I’ve found so far is less than satisfactory, too far to drive or unaffordable. For now, I choose cage-free (not to be confused with free-range) from hens that are not given antibiotics (so the label claims). I can’t wait for those baby chickies to start laying. For now, it’s store bought eggs in nifty little cartons. And I’m ok with that. It’s the best our family can do.

No matter where you are, no matter what accesses you have, you can always do better. Simply avoiding white flour (use wheat or an ancient grain instead) to bake your own cookies is better than picking up a package of Oreos. Using the best milk you can afford & get your hands on is better than not. Choosing the best meats & produce is better than canned foods. You don’t have to be as good as “them.”

If all you can do is cook from scratch to avoid processed foods, you are so far up on those still living the Nabisco dream.

Quite frankly it pisses me off to read that if you’re not doing this or that, then you’re just wrong & aren’t doing anything good. Lord knows I keep reading a lot of that all over the web from some certain bloggers that think they’re God. I do what I can afford. I ONLY do the best I can, and if someone else doesn’t like that, they they should just be thankful that they’re aren’t part of my family. I’d hate to do SO wrong for them. No one deserves to tell me something is the only way & I wouldn’t dare make mention, politely, of someone that did.*

Do your own research. Decide what’s best for you & your family. Don’t decide what’s best for everyone else. Last I checked I was the village, and I’m raising my own family. You are, too. Don’t let anyone dissuade you from doing the best you can do. You are not them, and they are not you.

But before you go on a venture to “be better,” make sure your immediate family tie isn’t at risk. You don’t want food to take over. You don’t want to become obsessed & you don’t want to distance or lose your loved ones over this. Start slowly. Do what you can. Don’t break the bank, and don’t get divorced over food. It’s. Just. Food.

Family, friends & love first. Then food. Always.*

*These 2 paragraphs are quoted from a comment I left on a controversial blog post

**I have since been GIFTED a set of 3 fermentation vessels with airlocks, rubber gaskets, the works. While I absolutely love them, I find myself to reverting to Fido jars often when I run out of the other vessels. I still have not been able to purchase more, so I still do what I can 🙂

You can find part 2 here.

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44 Responses to “Overwhelmed? Disgusted? Not Sure What To Believe?”

  1. Kim J
    May 9th, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

    Kim J recently posted..the price of beauty

  2. Kate a.k.a. The Secret Goddess
    May 9th, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

    Yes! I buy butter from grass fed cows and use it to make the Kraft Mac & Cheese my son loves into which I also toss some raw milk when I can afford it.

    Is it “perfect”?


    But he is happy and feels his needs for autonomous choices are being met and my need to do the best I can are being met and I’m ok with that too.

    When he wants oatmeal he prefers quicker oats BUT he also enjoys that I put a spoon of coconut oil in it and I use half and half that is hormone free.

    Again, is it “perfect”?

    No and I’m ok with that as well <3
    Kate a.k.a. The Secret Goddess recently posted..How Do You Know It’s Time for a New Beginning Or 3 Signs It’s Time to Get the Hell Out of Dodge!

  3. Susan
    May 9th, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

    Kim J beat me to it, but “Amen!!!”

  4. Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures
    May 10th, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    Another “amen!” Great post.
    Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures recently posted..VitaClay is not only great for rice, but for chickpeas! Great Mother’s Day gift…

  5. Jenny
    May 10th, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    I couldn’t agree more! Seriously, it’s food – not a religion. Do the best with what you can, how you can manage it. I also think that readers of blogs need to realize the authors are invariably speaking from personal experience and their personal experiences aren’t prescriptive for how you should live *your* life. Every little bit you can do is good.

  6. Maryann
    May 10th, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

    I needed to read this! I am sometimes stressed to to the point where I can no longer think clearly, worrying if I am endangering my families health now that I know what truly health food means. Sometimes it is just financially or physically impossible to have the absolute best of something, and I feel like a complete failure providing “second best.” Thanks for making me feel like my efforts are having a positive effect on my family even if they are not always “blogger approved”!

  7. Our Small Hours
    May 10th, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    Excellent post, mama! While I pay attention to and am thankful for those bloggers who are able to do things nearly perfectly because of access to money, information and other resources I don’t have (yet!), I do NOT feel badly for not being able to provide perfection for my family at this time. I never give up trying to do what’s best, but sometimes simply doing better than we’ve done in the past is the best I can offer. And I’m proud that I’m doing something!
    Our Small Hours recently posted..Advocating For Our Children

  8. Amanda
    May 10th, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

    Good read!

    I, too, have a budget, but my biggest constraint is time (and organizing!). I do what I can. 🙂

  9. Marie Stevens
    May 10th, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

    THANK YOU!!! Oh thank you. It drives me crazy when people are fanatical about things, all or nothing!
    Doing the best you can do for your family, and making the best decisions you can is what matters most.
    My husband and I have a farm that is mainly a conventional cash crop farm, we use GMO seeds and chemical herbiscides, because at this moment it’s the best we can do while still keeping a roof over our heads. We are extremely careful in our practices, and do many other “unconventional” things that are beneficial to the earth and soil, and every year work further to reduce the long term impact our farm has. On the flip side, I raise heritage breed pastured pork, free range chickens, grow and organic vegetable garden. We’ve come under fire many times for being “hypocrites”, and people have openly told us that they know nothing about farming, but are appalled by our choice to use sprays and GMO’s, without understanding the business or economics behind our decisions.
    I always try to stress to people that you do what you can. That’s all any of us can do, and every little bit makes a difference. Condemning people for not doing things “perfectly” will not improve our world at all.

    Thanks, great post!
    Marie Stevens recently posted..The Shame Of What We’ve Done

  10. Melanie
    May 10th, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    Great post! Thanks!

    And a little off topic…but where did you get that area rug in the picture? I love it!

  11. The Vintage Wife
    May 10th, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    Melanie, I bought it about a year ago from walmart online. It was the only place I could find a rug that wasn’t hundreds of dollars, in the size we needed that were “our colours.” I think it’s called Ironfleur or something like that.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Sara Shay @ YourThrivingFamily
    May 10th, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    Just found you via Homemakers and Homesteaders, Nourished Kitchen and Prairie Homestead.

    This is SUCH a great “real food” post. We are a family of 5 in socal living on $40,000/yr.
    We can’t afford the best and ideal. And there are choices I would make were I not married – so I love the “don’t get divorced over food.” comment.

    We too are, in the “It’s the best our family can do.” Mode – and I am okay with that!
    Sara Shay @ YourThrivingFamily recently posted..The Weekends are for Being Lazy

  13. mandy
    May 10th, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

    i LOVE this! new follower;)

  14. Cris
    May 10th, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    What? And you’re not going to link us to the controversial blog post?:)

  15. The Vintage Wife
    May 10th, 2012 @ 1:34 pm


    Nope 😀 I tried very hard to word this appropriately. Without taking sides. Without naming names. This wasn’t about “the” OTHERS. This was about myself & for those that read it & need it. I didn’t write this to bash anyone, especially in particular. I wrote this to let people know it’s OK to be less than perfect. I added the part about the controversial post in the event someone did find it, and wondered where it came from, why I quoted it or whatever. I hope the post blessed you in your journey as well <3

  16. Beth
    May 10th, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

    I agree that we should all do exactly what we’re comfortable with and what our budget can sustain. However, I firmly believe in the power of the internet in terms of free speech. I love to read the blogs of those who claim to be “Real Foodies” and I appreciate the time and effort they put into them. Sometimes I agree, other times I don’t. I like the debates; it causes people to think and re-think. That’s a good thing. So, if you’re not comfortable with what someone is saying, then choose not to read the blog. It’s so great we have those choices! 🙂

  17. The Vintage Wife
    May 10th, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

    Beth, it’s absolutely a right we have, and one I hope we can protect. Some need to hear certain things to realize it doesn’t have to be “just so” though. I find that where there is knowledge, there can also be that holier than thou attitude.

    Why can’t we put out there what we believe without making others feel less than satisfactory? Why can’t we be in this together, if we’re working toward the same thing? In the great words Rodney King- “Can’t we all just get along?” LOL!!!

    At the same rate, people also have the right to be schmucks. I choose to move on, but the words are already there. You can’t find out what a particular piece of the internet says until you’ve read it. By then, for some, the damage is done.

    I am glad I wrote this post & that it is indeed blessing others. <3

  18. Charnel
    May 10th, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

    Thank you for this post. I recently got so discouraged by another blog. But after a day if feeling beat. I realized I am doing the best my family can do. And I especially appreciate the line about divorce. My husband isn’t completely on board with our food. Our marriage is definitely not worth giving up for a perfect food.

  19. Heather Huerta
    May 10th, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO needed to hear this. It’s so overwhelming to switch over to real food. It’s not just a simple switching of food, but changing attitudes, outlooks, everything you grew up with, and more! It’s hard to be balanced when you’re on the borderline of obsession, lol. Thank you for posting this. 🙂

  20. Alison
    May 10th, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    I have to confess that sometimes I “live the Nabisco dream” because that’s what works that day. Folks,an Oreo once in a while is not going to cause the downfall of the world. Its just a reality that once in a while I subscribe to the god of boxed food. After a week of balancing work, gymnastics, soccer, piano, hip hop, play dates, baseball, school, skinned knees and the social waters of childhood friendships, its totally okay to sit down with a glass of milk (that’s probably not organic)chased with an Oreo or 2, and enjoy our cuddle and reflection time without feeling guilt that the cookies were not only not homemade, but certainly weren’t made from organic quinoa and spelt.

  21. reb
    May 10th, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

    lovelovelovelove this post!
    reb recently posted..The rules of bird attraction.

  22. Beth
    May 10th, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

    I’m glad you wrote the post too! And, I enjoyed reading it. I just really enjoy reading the others (regardless of whether I agree or not) and don’t think anyone should have to change their opinions. I feel that we are too sensitive. If you don’t like it, move on – just like you said!

  23. The Vintage Wife
    May 10th, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    Beth- you & I are thick skinned!! 😀

  24. Heather :) :) :)
    May 10th, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

    Oh, thanks for sharing this 😉 🙂 Yeah, I have a thick skin when it comes to what I eat. I think everyone has to make the choice for themselves…for sure 😉 :)I eat the way I do out of conviction…but if I ever talk about that on my blog, I always follow that with it’s what “I’ve decided is best for my family. You have to do your own research and decide what’s best for your family. It’s not going to be the same for everyone” Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

    p.s. I shop at Whole Foods a lot, but that’s because it’s really close to my house 😉 🙂
    Heather 🙂 🙂 🙂 recently posted..DAD’S RIB KNIT SOCKS – REVISITED

  25. SarahM
    May 10th, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

    This whole thing has made me think bloggers could really use some kind of editors. Obviously not professional, paid ones, but maybe if you have a couple of good blogger friends you run something by them before posting. The articles mentioned didn’t bother so much because of what they said but because of the way things were being said. There was strong and inflammatory language being used. That was a poor choice. Also, I think it’s important to understand that once something is published the conversation will take on a life of it’s own. Just because your write an article doesn’t mean you own the topic. Trying to defend your writing on other blogs, forums, groups is just not gonna work.

    I appreciate what you wrote here, Michaela, and agree with you completely.

  26. Lauren
    May 10th, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    It’s amazing how often we forget that good enough IS GOOD ENOUGH!
    The dogmatic, prescriptive attitude can be quite prevalent in the paleo blogosphere (where I hang out quite a bit) too, so I was relieved to read this series – in this post she figures a year of hard-core adjustment is enough and then you start discovering the intricacies and get comfortable with the compromises, but that first year is so big that it represents most of the blog talk: http://paleoperiodical.com/2012/04/12/paleo-nirvana/
    I read somewhere that a big part of our discontent is comparing our outtakes to everyone else’s director’s cut; we have to remember that recipe fails and suppertime compromises don’t make it to the blogs, because we all have them. The value of posting the beautiful and healthy stuff is making it real for people, not making them think every meal has to be magazine-worthy.

  27. Kristen @ Food Renegade
    May 10th, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

    Wonderful post! It’s so important to not let the ideal be the enemy of the good.

    My family makes compromises all the time due to budget constraints. Both my hubby & I work from home, and our income fluctuates a lot month to month. Some months we have a lot less than others, and you can bet I’m constantly prioritizing and re-prioritizing exactly how our food dollars get spent.

    Thanks for keeping it REAL.
    Kristen @ Food Renegade recently posted..Raisin Chutney Recipe

  28. Rhonda
    May 10th, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

    I feel the very same as you. Some bloggers do blog that their way is the only way and the rest of us are horrible for not heeding every bit of their preachings.
    You are so right that we should decide what is best for our family,
    frankly, my husband will finally eat a lot fruits and veggies now. I don’t really know what kefir is but I think it would be really hard to switch him to it. So, I see no reason to fight a battle like that.

    thank you for your encouraging words.
    Rhonda recently posted..Honor World War II Veterans today

  29. Jenn
    May 10th, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing and for a great reminder!
    Jenn recently posted..Decisions, Choices and Judgements

  30. Lorri
    May 10th, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

    Oh I could just KISS you. I cannot tell you how crazy I have made myself, my husband, my children, and my budget trying to ‘do it all’ and ‘do it right’!

    I feel like I finally have permission to do the best I can instead of driving myself into the ground reaching for a brass ring that I just can’t grab.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    And thank you Lord for covering my meager efforts with your amazing grace!

  31. Paula
    May 10th, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

    Paula recently posted..Ways we are frugal

  32. Paula
    May 10th, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

    I have had to step away (permanently) from an organization, for a group effort to drag me threw the muck for doing traditional foods without the help of the grocery store or local farmer (hunting, gardening, fishing and raising instead).
    I was too cheap! And heaven forbid that I was going to teach others how to it that way!
    I was very sad to see true colors shown again this way.
    Paula recently posted..Ways we are frugal

  33. sarah
    May 11th, 2012 @ 12:28 am

    i think part of the problem is that as women, we often struggle with comparing ourselves to others. this often makes us feel inadequate when it comes to things like real food, where its so hard/expensive to be “perfect”.

    i have been thinking some similar things recently as well. these are great thoughts. thanks 🙂
    sarah recently posted..a month of gluten-free, diary free eating

  34. Amy
    May 11th, 2012 @ 12:39 am

    great post, just what I needed to read today. Thank you.

  35. Mona @ Healthy Homesteading
    May 11th, 2012 @ 12:48 am

    One of the most potentially crippling things is to have someone tell you what you should and should not be doing with your life. I have made it a point to always be very sensitive to where people are at in the healthy living journey. Even if they have not even made a decision to be on the journey yet. I don’t want people to think that because they are around me they have to hide their soda’s and snacks. If anyone tries that on me I say “Don’t go getting all strange on me, I am not judging your food choices.” :). That’s the whole point really. We should not judge others and crippling their progress by interjecting our passionate beliefs about what we think is the best way to eat. Being passionate is fine but it will be better received if everyone is on the same page. Since we are never ALL on the same page we need to be passionate without condemning. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Wardeh’s facebook post directed me here 🙂
    Mona @ Healthy Homesteading recently posted..Welcome to Healthy Homesteading

  36. Kris
    May 11th, 2012 @ 6:51 am

    Thank you.

  37. Catalina
    May 11th, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    Great post.

    There is a certain blogger who repeatedly says things like, “if I can do it, anyone can do it.” It made me feel inadequate, because I didn’t seem to have the time or energy to do everything she did. but as I read more of her posts, I saw that she has a personal assistant, a nanny, and a housekeeper. I could do it all, too, if I had those

  38. Tara
    May 11th, 2012 @ 9:05 am

    I think something should also be said for those of us practicing healthier eating habits not judging those who do not have the time, knowledge, or access to non-processed foods. Poor eating runs rampant across all economic boundaries…I’ve seen people in an upscale neighborhood Publix loading their carts up with frozen dinner entrees and processed snacks. I just feel sad for those people that they don’t have the knowledge or time to feed themselves better – most people JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT’S IN THEIR FOOD. They put their trust in the manufacturers and grocery stores. They believe the marketing hype. We need to help educate those who don’t know in a non-judgmental way, and understand when a family (perhaps single parent or both working) simply do not have the time to ferment anything, make their own bread, or hit a farmers market.

  39. Marjeri
    May 11th, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

    Well said! Its overwhelming trying to do what’s right or more healthy ALL the time. We do what we can with what we’ve got! Being conscious of our decisions is the first step in the right direction…

  40. Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures
    May 17th, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

    We shouldn’t be fighting amongst ourselves, no doubt.

    Thanks for the encouraging post!
    Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures recently posted..The Science Behind Sauerkraut Fermentation

  41. This week's links. - a humble place.
    May 19th, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    […] Overwhelmed? Disgusted? Not sure what to believe? lovelovelovelovelove. “If all you can do is cook from scratch to avoid processed foods, you are so far up on those still living the Nabisco dream.” I think feeling completely overwhelmed when switching to traditional or real foods is a very big problem for a lot of people. I know I wasn’t really sure where to start. Well…this post is a good place to start if for nothing else but inspiration. […]

  42. Overwhelmed? Disgusted? Part 2 : Retro Momma, Vintage Wife
    June 1st, 2012 @ 12:10 am

    […] few weeks ago I wrote about the overwhelming feelings that come along with eating Real Food. The post had a HUGE response. I never imagined it would garner so much interest. I wrote it […]

  43. Lisa
    August 3rd, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

    Love your post. It’s important to do the best with what you are able to do given your resources but that should not be an excuse to continue practices/cooking techniques that are not ideal – be honest with what you can do and what you are willing to do.

    I find that some people are not willing to give up the products that are keeping them sick….or because everyone else does it – no one is perfect but we are responsible for our choices…and we deserve the best when possible.

    There are often times when it would be so much easier to allow my kids to eat stuff that I know is not nourishing and will make them feel awful soon after…the same for me…but I try to remember that I am modeling a way of life…sticking as best as I can do making good choices keeps us all well and less time frantically looking for bathrooms too 🙂

  44. Don’t Stress Whole Foods, Link Roundup :
    June 19th, 2013 @ 11:21 am

    […] Overwhelmed? Disgusted? Not Sure What To Believe? (You’ll find part 2 to this post at the bottom as well) […]

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