Ardent Eden

Ardent Eden is a place to explore my thoughts about the interdependence of life - humanity and nature - and to engage with others for collective problem-solving.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Sweet Little Rollover

If children had a say, they'd vote organic. - Raffi

My daughter rolled over for the first time this evening. She had been flirting with rolling for a couple of weeks now: thrusting her legs high in the air and propelling onto her side. She usually just stayed on her side then flopped onto her back and the process would start again. This could go on for a long time. While I was kneading bread in the kitchen tonight, my husband called for me to come into the living room where the Bean was proudly laying on her belly after having made a complete back-to-belly roll. We sat smiling at her little bottom sticking up into the air. It was one of those simple parenting moments that fills me up with such a profound feeling of life, of goodness: the blessing of a mother dusting flour off of her hands and watching her husband and baby daughter roll around on the floor.

I suppose it was fitting then that I received my introductory package from Mothers of Organic (MOO) today. MOO is a project of Organic Valley, a nationwide organic dairy cooperative, and the Children's Health Environmental Coalition, a non-profit that aims to protect families from environmental hazards of all sorts. A little over a month ago, I found MOO's website when I googled Sandra Steingraber's organic manifesto so that I could find a printable copy of the essay by the biologist-cancer survivor-mother whom I admire so much. I was impressed with the content of the site which, although not extensive, ranges from stories about the "organic epiphanies" that members have had to downloads of Raffi songs. I registered to become a member and have since received a few email messages from MOO about incorporating organics in a family's meals.

Anyway, I grabbed the mail on my way in the door from what we call a "big shop" at Whole Foods this morning. I was still lamenting how high my bill was when I opened the welcome package from MOO. The contents of the envelope, while modest, reminded me of the value of organics: a Save Our Soil bumper sticker (I'm not inclined to use this on my car, but I think I'll stick it under my Vote For the Environment bumper sticker on an old painted bookcase in my den), a package of Mammoth Grey Stripe sunflower seeds, some coupons for Organic Valley dairy products that would have come in handy at the market earlier today but will surely be used in the coming weeks, and nicely produced booklets of Steingraber's manifesto and an essay by Dr. Alan Greene called "Fathers for Organic." The booklets are nice reminders of why deep organics (which go far beyond industrial monoculture sans pesticides) are so crucial for our children, their health, and the world we want to leave for them.

I thought that this was a nice gesture aimed at educating mothers about the importance of organics. I'm okay with the fact that MOO is a nice marketing tool for Organic Valley because the business is the type that deserves my dollar as far as I can tell. Organic Valley is a cooperative of 700 family farms that together produce and market all sorts of dairy products without pesticides, antibiotics, or hormones. We buy their skim milk, chocolate milk, soy milk, nonfat dry milk (for the bread!), eggs, and cheeses and have always been impressed with the quality. I also like the way that Organic Valley is run. Family farms that are members establish equity in the cooperative upon joining and are represented by regional committees that report to a national governing board. Profits from the cooperative are shared among the farmers (45%), employees (45%), and community (10%). While the cooperative enjoys the benefits of national branding and marketing, the milk is distributed regionally. Since I have not been able to find a local dairy farm to purchase milk and eggs from directly, buying Organic Valley products allows me to support farmers from my region. I've got no problem having a cooperative like that market its products to me while providing educational resources to mothers. (It would be another story if Horizon was behind MOO.)

Tonight I poured a thick glass of chocolate milk and daydreamed about showing my daughter sunflowers this spring. For now, I nursed my sweet little roller, savored the moment, and kissed her goodnight.


  • At 11:04 PM, Blogger madcapmum said…

    I thought I'd get over being so pleased at the little things my kids learn to do, but no, it just goes on. Always the little, subtle things, like when they hold their tongues when you know they want to let loose - maturity might come after all!

  • At 1:00 PM, Blogger spiral said…

    What a blissful post--I like how you weave together your experiences with your daughter and the MOO project. This makes for a nice Sunday read.

  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    I remember when my Little One rolled over for the first time - she's now in the very early stages of learning how to crawl. Even though she is my third baby, her "firsts" are just as exciting to me as when #1 Girl and The Boy hit the same milestones. Savor these moments - they go by so quickly.

    A couple of weeks ago I discovered the Organic Valley products. Aside from being the better choice in so many ways, they just taste better. I used their sour cream the other night in a recipe and couldn't get over how creamy it was. I'm sure my husband thought I was nuts when I kept insisting, "Look! Look how thick it is!" Milk tastes better these days, too, and my kids are now asking for it even without the chocolate syrup. YEAH!


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