Conversation one: I engaged in an online discussion with someone who was questioning different aspects of parenting/child development. These exchanges led to me saying: the only thing a baby really needs is love, 2 arms, 2 boobs, and some cloth diapers. And in actuality, when you narrow it down to needs, you basically need to be sheltered, fed, and clothed. This led to all kinds of other stupidity (why I continued to engage in it, I don't know. Ignorance just gets under my skin and my fiery Scorpio personality comes out) and she was like..."They still make cloth diapers? No thanks, I will stick with my Huggies." So I said "I'm not wealthy, so I'd rather breastfeed, cloth diaper, and put the money in a college fund for my daughter instead of a landfill." At that point, she told me I need to save money for my child's therapy since I'll drive her nuts. We were done at that point!
Conversation two: My best friend growing up lives in NYC. We got into a conversation yesterday about how people in NY take the whole eco-friendly/green-living thing too far. She said there was an unpasteurized milk movement a few years ago that seemed to be dangerous. I have heard from other people that they like to give their children unpasteurized milk. Her point was that it almost becomes a "who can do the most outrageous eco-friendly thing?" contest.
Is there an eco-litism? I have to say, it feels good to share my eco-choices with others. Why? Not to be an elitist, but because I am proud of the decisions I have made for my family and my planet.
- Shopping for fresh vegetables, going to farmer's markets, etc. is so healthy for my family, supports the local growers trying to produce great food, and eliminates all of the unnecessary waste (e.g. gas to transport food from other places, extra packaging, etc.)
- Wearing cloth diapers (something I only began recently) has already saved us money and protected my baby's skin.
- Composting reduces the amount of waste we create and helps produce really great soil for my garden.
- Using fewer plastic bags helps the earth...and honestly, who wants plastic bags lying around the house with an infant learning to crawl? That's just dangerous! Additionally, a lot of places give a discount now for bringing your own bags.
- Best of all is the decision to breastfeed. The benefits are endless: building my daughter's immunity, helping her to relax/soothe/go to sleep, saving us tons of money, reducing waste from packaging, gas, etc., and if you want to get technical, saving us money on feminine products as I have not started to menstruate yet. Besides, it just feels good to know that I provided her with all the nutrients she needed to survive the first 6 months of life, and I continue to provide her with so many nutrients now at 8 months.
Here's some additional information regarding Raw Milk.
I love raw milk cheese - my favorite being Organic Valley Raw Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I also just tried some raw milk goat cheese from a farm I visited in Central Florida. I know my doctor told me not to eat unpasteurized cheeses during pregnancy, and I listened. In fact, as a first time mom, I avoided a lot of foods while I was pregnant for fear that they would be harmful. But the more I think about it, isn't our breast milk just unpasteurized milk created by a mammal? Isn't that the same as raw cow's milk? And isn't breast milk the best thing for our babies? I decided to do some quick research regarding unpasteurized milk. I came across this raw milk website. Here are some facts I learned about raw milk:
- Raw milk is cow's milk taken straight from animals fed only fresh, organic, green grass, rapidly cooled to somewhere around 36-38 degrees F., and bottled.
- Do not drink raw milk that is going to be pasteurized. It is generally mass-produced, and cleanliness standards are not nearly as high as they are for milk that is meant to be raw milk. In addition, milk is often produced by 'supercows' who are given additional hormones to produce more milk. This leads to a condition that many breastfeeding women can relate to: mastitis (I have been fortunate to not experience it, but I have heard it's awful). Mastitis produces increased white blood cells - which leads to pus in the milk. Great to know, huh??
- Raw milk has amazing medicinal properties and was used to treat illness for hundreds of years (until midway through the 20th century). Clean raw milk from pastured cows is a complete and properly balanced food. You could live on it exclusively if you had to - kinda like human breast milk for babies!!
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Meade