"twinkies are healthy for starving people."

i ran across a blog recently that purported to explain why there really is no such thing as "healthy food". the author went on to describe the contradictions and confusion that all of us feel when learning about so many different diets and philosophies about eating today. paleo, south beach, atkins, blood type-based, acidity-based, no-carb, low-carb, fat-free, organic, low-fat, full-fat, vegan, and so on and so forth. i was nodding along for a minute there until she summed it up by basically saying that people should just eat whatever they want - and feed their kids whatever the kids want to eat - because in the end there are no guarantees that eating healthy can actually keep you healthy.

she made a statement in there that basically said that even a twinkie is healthy for a starving person. i tried to shrug it off and understand that she might be confusing "minimally life- sustaining" with "healthy" (you know, like the difference between formula and human milk) and just walk away.

frankly, dealing w/ my own hyperallergic child's current health crisis is taking almost all my free time, so i really had no business looking at a blog that isn't related to my 2 narrow focuses in life right now - learning about safer, non GMO amd cleaner ways to eat and breastfeeding issues. i should really just stick to online materials about those 2 subjects - every time i stray into mainstream info and see what people really think about food, i am astounded. and not in a good way.

but the statement about the twinkies just stuck in my craw. could anyone really EVER think a twinkie was "healthy" ~ under any circumstances? i noticed in the author's bio, that she said she was a "healthy-eating" mother. when i browsed her site a bit more, i found references to "boxed mac and cheese", "drive thru meals" and "cookies". and i remembered the kind of "healthy" feeding i used to do for my 1st children myself. mcdonald's was okay because my kids weren't fat. we went twice a week on gymnastics nights. i knew vaguely that people said it was horrible, but my personal philospohy of "unhealthy food" was if it made you fat. i was uneasily and a bit guiltily willing to accept that french fries were a vegetable and hey - ketchup surely was - it was like, all tomatoes, right?

i watched the comments and replies applauding this open-minded and guilt-assuaging blog article multiply. mothers thanked her for permission to feed their kids what they truly wanted to eat. mothers pointed out that if their children were *such* picky eaters and had so many other issues that ALL they would eat was chicken mcnuggets morning, noon and night - then by god, chicken mcnuggtes are healthy for that child! it went on and on.

i tried to ignore it, reminding myself that there are also blogs where people say that elvis is still alive, too. and that the holocaust never happened. denial can be the best friend of many a harried mother and i lived right on those banks myself until my house tumbled splash into the river and it became a watch -your -family- sink- or -swim situation.

i went on about my schedule but at random times little snippets from the blog article & comments would pop into my head: "yes, i'm a fat woman, but..." "a growth-delayed, sensory-averse child..." "...mother to an underweight, extremely picky eater..." "...the best food for a person stranded on a desert island is hot dogs..." "...not only am i severely underweight...i also have GI issues..." i could go on and on. it's like an actual list of the symptoms of food allergies and intolerances and all the accompanying long-term health issues that result therein, all wrapped up in a justification for continuing to eat fast food, junk food, ramen noodles and mcdonald's!

"whatever's easy with all this stress and illness" are the only comments allowed through the moderation process. trust me, i tried. i know i must be like a dry drunk who thinks everyone that goes near alcohol has to be an alcoholic after all this time with my own food-damaged son, but seriously - reading this article and comments was like watching a drowning person demand a glass of water.

if twinkies are really the answer for starving people, shouldn't the red cross get with it and start shipping them over to 3rd world countries asap? i do concede that they might be ideal in that the expiration date is 'never' and even bugs wouldn't contaminate them. but... seriously?! twinkies for a starving person?? haven't any of these people heard of "supersize me" ?? can you imagine what it would do to a starved, depleted body to consume twinkies? they are hardly more than flavored plastic injected w/ sugar and chemicals! i can't imagine organ failure wouldn't set in within a week or 2 of trying to survive on a diet of twinkies - or hot dogs, for that matter.

and if mcdonald's is "healthy" for a sick, underweight person "who can't/won't eat anything else", then by the same logic, meth would be healthy for all the newborns born meth-addicted, right?

the irony here is that our society *is* starving to death on a diet of limitless twinkies. our bodies are so hungry for true nourishment, that people gorge themselves on whatever tastes good - mistaking overloading your tastebuds with more and more artificial flavor and your body with more and more bad fats, chemicals and genetically modified ingredients with eating something truly nourishing.

as people try harder and harder to sate that hunger, they are growing more and more depleted in vitamins, nutrients & energy while their bodies grow obese trying to store all the excess fat, salt and sugar. and we are only just beginning to get a hint of what the genetically modified ingredients are doing to us!

if people today would only take a few minutes to research what they are actually eating - and what effect it is actually having on their bodies - i have faith that no parent would continue to steadily feed their children the Standard American Diet (SAD). nobody wants to put forth the effort because modern food industries and today's mentality of immediate gratification and convenience assure that people are not likely to take the time to learn about and prepare wholesome, healing and nourishing meals from home. and so the justification and defensiveness about what we eat and feed our kids continues.

i know, i know, i should just stick to the breastfeeding and food allergy blogs out there - trust me, i won't be straying into the scary, Standard American Diet-loving forest of blogs out there again! i have a feeling i'll be seeing some of them again on other food allergy and clean-eating blogs when they finally figure out that their beloved "healthy" fast food is the reason for all their and their children's illnesses, though.

and in the spirit of *not* censoring out the comments that don't agree with a blogger, here's another comment on the article that was not published. the woman who wrote the following also spends her time trying to help people learn how to heal themselves and their children from the ill effects of today's frankenfood.

i may not know exactly which diet philosophy is better than any others - i actually suspect that different body types need different things at different times and no one-size-fits-all way of eating can work for everyone - but i DO know that eating convenient, artificial, chemical-laden and genetically modified foods isn't healthy for ANYONE.

jennifer tow is a good friend, mentor, breastfeeding expert and globally-renowned holistic practitioner on the interweb:

The problem with reading or posting anything on the internet is that you never have the backstory. I tend to ask a zillion questions whenever presented with a situation, which might just be a product of my work as a lactation consultant. So, I have no idea what you eat Arwyn and will not make assumptions. Nor do I need to know, because I can simply address the issue as you presented it.

You say there is no food that brings perfect health. Actually, you can never prove a negative, so I don't know if this is true or not and it doesn't matter. I do know this--that I have worked with tens of thousand of moms and babies over the past 20 years and every single issue that I have ever seen has gotten worse and worse in presentation during that time. Aside from cultural, marketing, economic and social issues that we all know impact birth and infant feeding, the single most significant issue that impacts families is poor nutrition. Or maybe, based upon this post, defense of poor nutrition.

Of course our perception of what is "good" or "bad" will surely have a context. For example, if someone has an allergy to brazil nuts, all the selenium content in the world does not make that a good food for that person. And, if your mother made you finish your least favorite dish as child, after it was cold and everyone else had left the table, I don't care how nutritious it might me, your emotional connection to it might make it toxic to you. After Fukishima, folks in Europe were told not to eat broad leaf greens because they collected too much contaminated rainwater. I get all of that and I agree. Food and its "goodness or badness" have context.

But, it is using these kinds of legitimate points to make such ridiculous rationalizations that really confounds me. And, sure people will get right behind you, because no one wants to do anything that is hard. They would rather believe it doesn't matter. Or at least not very much. I don't care if you are starving--a Twinkie is not healthy--it might sustain you, but it is not ever going to support health. Nor are the vast majority of non-foods people eat every day. As Mark Hyman put it "There is no such thing as junk food. There is food and there is junk."

I spend the majority of my practice helping desperate mothers undo the damage to their babies and children cause by our synthetic/GMO/processed/pasteurized/toxic food supply coupled with our toxic environment and our genetic imprinting from the damage done to our own ancestors by several generations of artificial feeding, medicalized birth, abx and other meds and vaccines. It isn't fun for them and it gets harder all the time and every parent who does not make changes--drastic changes--is adding exponentially to the problem.

We are currently birthing the first generation of children who will not outlive their parents and we are likely the most over-fed, under-nourished people to have every walked the Earth. And we have the wounds and scars to prove it. But, we would rather hide out and defend our addictions, even while those addictions make us sick physically and emotionally, while they fry our children's nervous systems and lead us to medicate them.

You can look at the battles that rage between the Paleo, vegan, raw food, etc camps as more support for your argument, but what I look at are the similarities, because I have no financial interest in any of them. The commonalities are real food. No room for fake food. None. Zero. Some might sprout grains and others say no grains. Some say raw dairy, others none. In the end, it depends on how much gut healing you need to do as to which works best for you, but they all use food that is not GMO or factory-farmed or packaged or processed to death (ours). Look at the similarities and you really can't go wrong. Once you start to feel your own body's true signals again, you can tweak it from there.

What absolutely works for no one though is the crap that the majority of Americans are addicted to, feed their kids and justify through absurd rationalizations, as you have in this post and others have in their comments. If your child only eats mac and cheese or chicken nuggets, then you have two options--rationalize that as good enough or bite the bullet, face your own addictions and get your child and yourself on a gut healing diet, so all of that pickiness disappears with the toxic gut flora and yeast that the fake food is feeding.

Do you have to be a perfectionist? I don't know. Do you want this planet to survive? When we make a mess this big, as we have, then yes, I think we need to be as impeccable as we can to fix it. Do we have to obsess about food. No, we just need to pay attention, become educated and leave the world of non-food behind. Of course, for most people, that's most of what they eat. So, maybe it feels obsessive.

I would say I don't really care what other people feed their kids, and frankly, I don't have much time to think about it if they aren't my clients, but we have come to a point where this human village is at too much risk--frankly, I do not trust sick people to govern this world. And that is where we are rapidly headed.

banned from facebook

so here i am, in exile from facebook yet again - banned due to the breastfeeding picture above in back and white - the one where my newborn 5th child was just about to nurse for the 1st time after his breech home birth. that one has gotten me a 7 day time out - my longest banishment so far! the other pictures are previous ones i've been blocked from using my account for- as they were deemed 'obscene'.

i'm really confused about what exactly is obscene about the 2 with only my son. you can't see a bit of his genitalia or even bare bum. it did used to specify that nipple or areola was considered a violation of fb standards - did that include baby nipples and areola? because i guess you can see his baby moobs in both of those pics... i'm also confused about the banishment itself. i can't post or comment on my own page...but i can post new threads/topics in most of the groups i am in. i just can't comment. and i can still accept friend requests but i can't post links anywhere. if you really want to ban someone and censor them, why let them continue to post in their groups - a place they are most likely to garner support and rally activism against the unfair punishment? none of this makes much sense to me.

it's also worth mentioning that the naked pics of my son came from my "allergy" album and were mainly intended to show the condition of his atopic allergic reactions. both were pictures of him cleared up and doing well. they weren't meant to be "provocative". my fb page is mainly a place of sharing info amongst likeminded ppl on natural parenting and food allergy issues. anyone who spent any time on my fb account knows that these pictures were a joyous celebration of some of the rare times my son is out of pain and discomfort and has beautiful intact skin. to think that anyone could have found this "obscene" and could be looking at these innocent pictures with dirty thoughts in their mind only makes me question what kind of issues they might have, not think there is anything wrong with the pictures.

least of all this rabid and persistent persecution of babies and children feeding normally.

i know the founder of fb is a young guy. raised in america, where we prefer our breasts plumped up into gravity defying, silicon injected, physically preposterous standards for the titillation of adults only - and of course the sale of alcohol, body lotions and victoria's secret undergarments. babies hanging off of them kind of ruins the hugh hefneresque fantasy, i guess.

but when a large group of women show that they want to opt out of this american breasts-as-sexual-objects-only ideal and use them for their intended purpose - why not just go on about your business and let them?

i was young once, too - and raised in america. and oh yeah, had a couple of the dazzling funbags of my own that seemed to set the tone for how i was going to be treated (& expected to act - which is to say IQ need not exceed bra size!) for the majority of my interactions with people - especially men.

i used to work in a couture shoe boutique in an upscale mall. we had a gorgeous ladies lounge. chaise lounges, fine art, giant mirrors so we could pop in and make sure our balconet bralettes were doing their jobs. i remember the first time i saw a nursing mother in there. i had no idea what she was doing. i thought she was just snuggling her baby. then i saw bare breast and a baby attached to it. i'd never seen a woman breastfeed before that i recall, ever.

i was completely embarrassed and uncomfortable. i looked away too quickly and then felt badly that i'd done so and might make the mother feel badly so i tried to look back at her and give a weak smile, but my eyes went straight to that little bundle hooked to her breast and then i was too embarrassed to look at her face again...it was confusing and awkward! i didn't want her to feel badly for feeding her baby, but i thought it was something very private and i surely shouldn't have been looking with my prying eyes, but i couldn't help it because i'd never seen it before...and why did she look *happy*, anyway? didn't it hurt? wasn't it heinously uncomfortable, at the least? wasn't she totally embarrassed that she didn't have a cute bottle for that baby?

fast forward 15 years and i'm the one in the lounge watching the totally embarrassed sales girls hurry out, darting furtive glances at me. and then there were the times i tried to nurse in public and my husband would literally stand beside me, holding a baby receiving blanket up like a matador fighting a bull. i literally shudder to remember the lactational faux pas i have been complicit in! so in a way, i can kind of understand that fb is just a young company with a young owner who doesn't get it.

but even the most socially challenged person can see that the smut that *is* allowed all over fb is a direct slap in the face to those of us who keep getting banned for our breastfeeding pictures. i'm not the only one who feels this is the biggest outrage in the whole farce of 'community standards' and 'obscenity policies'. Emma Kwasnica, Breastfeeding Mom, Says Facebook Yanked 'Sexually Explicit' Pictures. if i'm allowed by the state and most of the country i live in to nurse my baby wherever i am allowed to be...and if those same laws say that if i expose my breast - even nipple and/or areola - while breastfeeding, it is *not* considered public indecency, then who is fb to say otherwise? what is this need to regulate rules about breasts and breastfeeding that are even more restrictive than the "real" laws? fb certainly doesn't do this with breasts in other types of pictures ~ especially sexy or sleazy ones! in fact, the majority of the breastfeeding pictures that have been deleted from facebook do NOT show nipple or areola! Photos of breastfeeding banned by Facebook, Page 1.

not to mention how far they will go to go after *anything* to do with breastfeeding, apparently.Facebook apologises for deleting photos of girls pretending to breastfeed | Life and style | The Guardian. the questions i can't get answered in the endless loop of vague and contradictory fb 'standards' are: what on earth makes a person *this* intent on eradicating all breastfeeding images? did something happen to traumatize the founder and CEO of fb? was he perhaps squirted by a lactating breast when passing by a nursing mother some time? could he have been assaulted and/or traumatized by a leaky mam somewhere along the line? where does this desire to eradicate all breastfeeding imagery come from in a young man who claims he values openness and the ability to facilitate sharing of information above all else? and what does his mother have to say about it? i'd *really* like to hear from her, she's a psychiatrist! or is it as simple as the usual problem in this country - that the formula industry is paying big bucks to have *their* product placement take precedence on fb via the ads? (i really wouldn't know as i delete them all as 'offensive' when they pop up on my page! :-P)

i try to take a zen approach to it when it happens to me now - which it does with regularity. i'm not sure if fb keeps rechecking the albums of past offenders, or searches through the friends of someone who currently got flagged (because it does usually seem that a whole group of us go down together), but it's to the point now that anytime i get the login prompt when i know i didn't log off, i steel myself for the warning and then violation notice. one time i got them but it never went into effect, but only one time. at first it made me furious. i mean livid. how dare someone call my feeding of my child obscene? or pictures of my child that do NOT show any genitalia or even buttocks, a violation of decency standards? the activist in me was seething with a need to clarify, rectify, terrify! someone for this. but there's nowhere to complain, nobody to question - no phone numbers, no email, no responses, nothing but a loop of endless links that don't really answer my questions at all. it's obvious someone isn't even really looking at the pictures they're punishing me for, because two of these don't even meet their standards for obscenity in any way.

so now i tell myself to enjoy fb to the fullest while i use it and take it a sign from the universe that i need to take a break when i get banned. its a good lesson to me not to put all my eggs in one basket, too. if it disables my communication with moms i am helping in my lactation counselor capacity, i was relying on it too much! if it hurts my sales for my allergy cookies to not be able to post on that page for a few days, then i probably should have an independent website for them! if it means i won't keep up with close friends during important times or events then i should be calling, emailing or keeping it more personal! i also made a vow to myself to make the temporary ban something that makes up for the time i do spend on fb.

for each day of the ban, i have to do one thing i've been putting off around the house and one special or putty-offy thing w/ the kids each day. today i cleaned and scrubbed under the stove and then got out the mending and sewing before bed and did mending projects w/ the kids and taught the little ones how to sew. tomorrow i will pull out the 'fridge and clean under there and either sew again with the kids before bed (they love it!) or make get well cards with them for my terminally ill mother. this way when i get back on fb, my karma is clean as i feel i 'earned' it..and i have also atoned for the fact in advance that i'm putting those pics right back up! :-P
it also helps to keep me from foaming at the mouth when this happens, to see what great company i am in.

and if that isn't enough to set my attitude back on straight, this is:

~~~~update for friday, january 13, 2012~~~~

well, close your windows in case of flying pigs, but it appears that my friend emma kwasnica is actually making headway with her fight against the lactoferrinous discrimination on fb!

this woman is my hero. as i sit here, being all zen about it - she is (once again!) making online booby history! (85) Emma Kwasnica responds to Facebook after receiving apology. my chest engorges proudly at her persistence. or it might be nursing time for my preschooler. either way, emma would be gleeful!

i can just see her, championing the cause for dejected and persecuted mammaries everywhere. i picture her trotting down a line of female busts, with an encouraging word for all, emanating a unity that not even the widest cleavage could divide. she'd pat a billowing sideswell here, give an uplifting tweak to a downcast nipple there, and then trot off in full battle regalia for the worthy cause of hard working jahoobies everywhere! her cape, of course, would be the patchwork quilt made to honor her work - made up of breastfeeding images from all over the globe.

i might have sparkling appliances, mended laundry and occasionally lower blood pressure by not getting so riled up when i get banned (tho perhaps not, because one of the benefits of breastfeeding *is* those calming hormones!), but this woman has the heart of a warrior inside the body of a nurturer.

the founder of fb is quoted in wikipedia as saying his interests include "revolutions" Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia... well, hold onto your hairy milkless little moobs, mr. CEO of fb, because you let your revolution in by the front door when emma kwasnica signed on to facebook and found your discrimination against a baby's right to be fed normally and a woman's right to do so without being harassed!

thank you for all you do for the breastfeeding cause, emma - i'm proud to call you friend.