No this is not gluten free gmo free paleo organic - but it is free
I have tried for years to be more environmentally conscious - I used to say no thanks to bags in the 90s, my friends rolled their eyes. I tried to use Chinese newspapers for wrapping paper one year - oh that went over well with my Eastern European family - NOT. I have embraced recycling from the first appearance of the blue bin.
I had my first son tested at the very young age of 2 1/2 for spectrum disorders - he is a non-specified spectrum disorder child which means his fine motor skills are weak but he is social so they are not sure where to put him except that it got him services that helped him pretty much get his fine motor skills to average. It was about this time when he was stymying (flapping his little hands and walking on his toes) when I decided to do a lot of investigations. I had a typical reaction of course - what had done this to my beautiful boy. I read everything from scientific studies to Jenny McCarthy. I vaccinated and realized that it wasn't even remotely possible that is what caused him to be part of these spectrum disorder children. I learned to also understand that he and his friends are different but not less and instead of placing blame and acting as if getting and spreading a deadly disease was somehow better than accepting who he was was not how I was going to parent. Yes I got him services, yes I still work with him but more because I want the world to be less difficult for him.
It was about this time though that I was pretty dismayed at some of the factory farming practices I did find out about. It makes sense that if you eat locally sourced foods they will be fresher, more in season and picked ripe rather than chemically require some intervention at each step of the process. I went back to my roots, my European/NYC borough roots - bought more at farmer's markets and if a local farmer told me he was organic but couldn't afford the certification it is good enough for me.
I am still on the fence about GMOs -- mostly because the nay sayers really make fairly non-scientific claims which leads me to think many are just joining the fad. I am in the process of trying to understand this better.
Gluten - unless you have celiac or irritable bowel syndrome your eating of this substance is a choice not a dietary need. Nut - allergies are a real thing so those we should be sensitive too.
I prefer to give my kids antibiotics only if they need them rather than through their food ingestion of animals that were dosed with it.
All of this to some degree makes me feel like what we are not doing is addressing a fundamental issue - these are all very upper middle class or higher socioeconomic choices. These product choices that no one would deny are less chemically laden, have no growth hormones which is proven to get passed through (does obesity increases come to mind for anyone else) and are overall a better food choice are made partially financially. You cannot afford to eat this way if you are making minimum wage, if you are not in the higher income brackets, because this is all much more expensive. So you are not a bad parent, caretaker, partner because you choose the Hungry Man dinner - you did the best you could with the money you may have -- or maybe for one day you needed to go off course but you could afford to go back to organic, or a cleanse - eye roll, right away. This is what bothers me the most. Also let's face it food should also taste good and no I do not want to live forever munching on what a friend of mine calls, nose wrinkled, grains that taste like Cardboardios. Basically a vegan, sugar-free, fat-free lifestyle is not quite life - will take some fresh baked bread with a slab of butter anytime over that.
Yet in spite of my beliefs on these subjects what I cannot stand more than anything is the uber liberal obnoxiousness about it all. It is based on a judgement system that "they" are so much more informed than you can be and that if you do not adhere to this well you really should not be trusted to make any decisions for you and your family. Oh please - get over yourself - you are as preachy and easy to dismiss as the far right arguments on why climate change cannot possibly be a real thing. Both often have nothing to do with science or fact but with a belief that their way is that of the chosen people.
I want my politicians bullshit free, organically evolving, intelligent and to be grown ups - our children demand it. I would like food to be a source of nutrition and comfort not worry and it should be affordable for all of our children. Parents are responsible for raising their children let's give them the best choices to help on that path.