Don’t worry, I have no intentions of spouting forth ill-informed pro’s and con’s of higher education! No, I do not! However, I AM going to tackle a chronic situation many of us have created in our own homes and family circles by the sharing of truths and ideals with our young children. Picture this true scenario that played out at my local grocery store:
“We need olive oil, let’s go grab some oil and then we can head to the pet shop. Come on kids, lets go!” says mom. With many happy hops and jumps and carts driven without valid licenses we make our way to the impressive array of olive oil choices. I have an agenda as usual. To save money for a family vacation in this lifetime! I turn to the big value cans of oil from my early 20’s, this is going to save me so much money!!! I reach for one labelled as extra virgin with an Italian flag printed on the can. Its on sale for $10.99, that includes the entire can, a vat you could say, full of evoo!!! My husband shifts his feet uncomfortably, my kids are dreamily examining bags of mini marshmallows. I hesitate as I reached for the cart, noticing the look on his face. “What?” I ask impatiently. “It’s extra virgin, and it’s on sale!” A long pause….. “Is it cold-pressed?” the husband inquires. “I don’t know, it’s extra virgin 100% pure olive oil. That is what it says on the can.” I reply. He takes the can from me. I know I have lost so my gaze switches to the glass bottle selection, scanning for sale flags. “This is actually refined oil and olive oil. That’s what the ingredient list says. That means it is chemically refined and produced. They use…” he begins. I cut him off, “I know what that means. How about that one?” Jadon has now noticed the conversation and he walks over and picks up the exact bottle of olive oil that we buy every time. He says, “Can we just get the regular olive oil, mom?” Cynthia trots over and looks around at the oil and grabs another of the same. She says, “Can we get the regular kind, mom?” I sigh, “I was just hoping to save some money. How do we all feel about organic versus non-organic?” Jadon looks uncomfortable for a minute, “I prefer organic, but I don’t want to tell you to spend every dollar you have….. Let’s just get the cheaper one.” Cynthia says, “Let’s get the regular oil, mom. This one.” We bought the regular.
Why you ask, why blog about this? Well, this was our last stop in the grocery store. We had to go through the same frustrating dilemma at each step of the way. From apples to pasta to canned tomatoes to oil. Did we save any money, absolutely! But not today. In health care for sure, but what does this have to do with the cost of education??? We have spent countless hours educating ourselves on the production of food. We have debated, vacillated, and yes, even anguished over food. We have explained our choices to ourselves and to our children. Why? Because our kids want a burger at McDonald’s just like other kids. They want soda and ice cream and cupcakes with sprinkles on them, individual pudding cups… I have not found anyway to explain to them why we say no other than to teach them. I educated myself about GMO’s and transfats and feedlot meats and pesticides and herbicides, and yup, you guessed it. They were there. They hear me think out loud, they watch the documentaries. They now have opinions. If you choose to educate yourself and your family, prepare to get called out when you are short on grocery money and trying to take a shortcut.