Greenonthego's Blog

sustainable living vs. sustainable budget

Cereal wars… February 25, 2010

Thank you Food Inc. for being so informative and for making me so aware of what I am putting into my family’s bodies.
After yesterday’s post, Katelan asked me why the Quaker Oats Company is bad. I didn’t have a solid answer, I just know that after watching  Food Inc.  and King Corn, I’m much more skeptical of big box companies. Just to put to rest my insecurity over the Quaker Oats Company, I looked up Mother’s cereal. I called their customer service to find out where the corn used in their cereal comes from. The woman on the phone said, “I can’t tell you if the corn used in our cereal is genetically modified (GM) or not. I’m thinking, “are you kidding me? Your cereal claims to be all natural but since “80%” of corn grown in the us is GM, there is no way to tell?”  I’m sorry but all natural doesn’t scream GM to me!  And as Katelan pointed out, they probably didn’t use fair trade cocoa either. So small children were  most likely enslaved to bring me my Mother’s Natural, Cocoa Bumpers. In retrospect, I should have just gone co0-co0 for Cocoa Puffs and actually enjoyed the bowl of chocolately goodness. Okay, so  I just went a little overboard with the cocoa puffs comment, honestly I did avoid the High Fructose Corn Syrup among the other things I can’t pronounce by purchasing the “all natural” cocoa bumpers. And this is a process, I’ll figure it out in due time, and we will survive after eating our box of cocoa bumpers. This process of calling companies has, however has put me on a mission to find a cereal that doesn’t use GM ingredients and doesn’t break the bank. I’m on a mission, wish me luck!

Soap Box:   So scientists might think that genetically modifying my food is a good idea but I sure don’t. My mom was at Costco yesterday and over heard a woman very frustrated saying, “I need to blow off some steam! I can’t believe that guy thinks eating Organic is pointless.”  My mom went over and told her she believe in eating organic. The woman proceeded to explain that a man next to her in the aisle said he was a scientist and he thought eating organic was a big ploy to get American’s to spend more money and eating organic makes no difference in the quality of food you’re buying.  admittingly I once thought much like the scientist. But I have since changed my views after some research and education.

To the scientist in Costco: You’re telling me that pesticides are good? I’d like to see him curled up next to the fire with a hot steaming cup of pesticides!

Still on a search for Non-GM, Healthy, Tasty, Organic, Fair Trade Cereal…

Too much to ask? ~Sarah


Cereal Struggle… February 24, 2010

Filed under: budget,shopping — greenonthego @ 10:26 am
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First of all, I’m cheap! I refuse to pay $5 for a box of cereal or even $3 for that matter.  That might be because growing up I was not really a fan of cereal or milk for that matter. My kids didn’t even eat a bowl of cereal until about the age of three. It just wasn’t something I liked. There is a universal mother rule,  if you’re cold your child must be. I assumed the same with cereal in a subconscious kind of way. Well, my kids proved my theory to be wrong when they found the gold that is cereal. I too have jumped on the cereal train; don’t tell anyone but, I sometimes am lazy and let them eat it for dinner.

So, over the past few years I have really struggled with finding a healthy cereal that isn’t made from GMO corn and doesn’t have tons of perservatives or words I can’t understand or High Fructose Corn Syrup. My kids like a cereal called Puffins,  it is expensive in my opinion. I buy it for them and they always agree to eat it and never end up finishing the bag (so they sort of like it, or they like the idea of it). We’ve gone through many of cereals trying to find one they love, that I also love.

They love the big name brands of course, and anything with chocolate in it. Who doesn’t love captain crunch and lucky charms or Cinnamon Toast Crunch, my favorite.

We were at new seasons the other day and my daughter found a box called coco bumpers. I knew right away this would be another box left alone on our cereal shelf never to be touched again, but for some reason I did the uh-huh mom thing without thinking and into my cart it went. The brand is Mother’s, therefore it must be good right? In giant writing across the front it says it is made with “real natural cocoa”, that should have been the first sign that it was a set up.  I didn’t really read much of anything else at the store, remember, I did the uh-huh thing and put it in the cart. When I was feeding it to my kids one morning on a closer look, I noticed it is distributed by the quaker oats company! UGH…another cereal disaster. There is good news though, My son loves it, so it wont be wasted, and if you promise not to judge me, my 8 month old also loves it.

I’m still on a search and haven’t settled into a cereal I really feel good about feeding them. My goal is to research the companies more and find out where their grains come from etc.

I also promise not to buy anymore Cinnamon Toast Crunch when it is on sale for only $1. Sometimes I can’t resist that cheap cereal price! I know though, in the long run that dollar isn’t money well spent.

So the struggle continues….



Green Grocery Goals February 23, 2010

Filed under: budget,shopping — greenonthego @ 9:27 pm
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Mission: My first shopping trip to Trader Joe’s.

Question: Can I buy my weekly groceries for around the same total cost and go organic?

I head to Joe’s, looking very Oregonian in my flips flops, jeans, messy bun and Oregon Ducks hoodie. To complete my urban hippie-chic look, I even wrangled up all my reusable grocery sacks, which I must admit, haven’t made an appearance at my previous shopping trips to Safeway and Wal-Mart. I’m jumping remember? Plus, I want to look like a seasoned pro at Trader Joe’s, not a newbie.

What did I find? Organic food is pricey, but not all of it is unreasonable. I found tortilla chips and many other organic products sold under the Trader Joe’s label to be quite comparable. Some prices shocked me. But, I kept reminding myself that quality food, made without growth hormones and tons of chemicals, SHOULD cost more. Overall, I spent a little more than I normally would, but I also bought some food that didn’t make my grocery list, just to try it out.

After my so-so go at green grocery glory, I was a bit disappointed, but not defeated.

Then, today, I was banking inside the Fred Meyers, when I decided to take a stroll through their organic section. I was excited to see a great selection, and some pretty great prices. They had lots of sales and many choices that I did not see at Joe’s. The bulk foods section even offered some fair-trade items, as well as many organic foods. Then, it  was as if the end cape lit up with the beam of sun breaking through the clouds to spot light organic cheesy pasta goodness. Mac and Cheese, on special, half-off.  There is hope. I can make eco-friendly, organic food choices and not destroy my bank account.

Now, I am sitting with a bowl full of organic pasta bunnies, made with organic milk and regular butter (I am still using up my Wal-mart food…it’s a process, remember?) . The best part is it tastes great; maybe it is the taste of a small victory, or maybe the flavor of knowing what I am putting in my mouth didn’t come at the cost destroying of our planet.

I’d say it was a pretty promising start to this adventure…




Green Train…

Filed under: Uncategorized — greenonthego @ 1:11 pm

I started this journey into “going green” about five years ago when my second child was born; it was actually when I met Katelan. It started when she would come over to study and say, “My mom would have a fit if I ate this”. I am naturally a curious person, so I asked why, more than once. As I realized the importance of what I was putting into my kid’s bodies I slowly began changing things that I brought into our home. I have had many trial and errors and am still having many to this day. There are times I fall off the “green train” because I feel overwhelmed with reading labels and shopping at different stores. However, the more I get educated the more enthusiasm I get to get back on the “green train”. My hope is that our journey into this green world might make it easier for our readers and they might “stay” on the “green train” and give it a go!



Most of the Time… February 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — greenonthego @ 7:14 pm
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My mom has always said “it’s not about what you do all of the time or some of the time, it’s what you do MOST of the time that makes a difference.”  This mantra was applied to everything from exercise to practicing  musical instruments to eating.  As a successful personal trainer and herbalist, she is able to motivate people into healthier lifestyles everyday, so her theory must work.  Being a procrastinator myself, this always made sense, though I rarely follow through (I have even put off writing this first blog post for some time, ha ha) .

Jumping into my mothers footsteps, I have decided to partner with one of my best friends on a journey to lead a healthier more sustainable life, and to share this adventure with others. Sure, we are flooded with the knowledge that organic food is better for you, that plastic is bad, this and that cause cancer, blah, blah, blah. But, how can we translate this knowledge into our fast paced, consumer driven, disposable lifestyles? Will it really be worth the time, energy and higher price to seek out local farmers that commit to sustainable, organic practices instead of running to my local, affordable, convenient Wal-mart just down the street? Sometimes I want to throw up my hands and say that since everything will kill me (or so it seems) why even bother?

Ok, I am throwing up my hands, raising them up in a little prayer that I will make it through this experiment, that I will find some truth, perhaps a better way, and that maybe, just maybe, someone out there will benefit from all this.