Have you watched Bedtime Stories? In the film, Adam Sandler’s character pokes fun at his sister who serves her kids only organic foods and bans junk from her house. Her kids have never tried or even heard of S’mores.
Yes, the movie is funny.
Sort of… until I realize I am a bit like the mother but maybe more extreme, because I am not only a Mama who believes in organic, in season/local, unprocessed foods, but I am also a Raw Vegan. Many raw vegans eat at least 75% raw fruits, vegetables, sprouted nuts, seeds and grains. I’m at about 100%. And because I prepare all our meals, my husband and son eat at least 50% raw vegan foods.
It hasn’t always been this way though. In fact, when we were first married, my husband and I would buy Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, canned foods, packaged foods and questionable animal products on sale. I cringe at that thought today. I guess people change when something drastic happens. In our world, it took our son’s health issues to wake us up and change our lifestyle.
In Bedtime Stories, Sandler’s character entices his sister’s kids to the world of S’mores and junk food. It’s all done in good fun as he introduces the kids to nostalgic feelings associated with these forbidden foods. The audience is moved to reminisce back to their own camping days, made to laugh and agree with the bonding experience between uncle, nephew and niece. It’s a funny movie.
But it’s not so funny when the film ends.
It’s not funny when you find your baby’s bed sheets full of blood splotches almost daily because he scratched his eczema wounds open through the night. We learned he was allergic to banana, peas, soy, dairy, eggs, corn and the list kept growing.
It’s not funny when your 2 year old is sedated in your arms and taken from you to have a CT scan done in another room to determine if there is a growth in his body. He was only 2!
And what is happening to the health of our children today is not funny:
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, from the periods 1976-1980 to 2007-2008, childhood obesity increased: 2 times for 2 to 5 year olds, 3 times for 6 to 11 year olds and more than 3 ½ times for 12 to 19 year olds.
From 1997 to 2007, there has been an 18% increase in food allergies in children under 18 years of age. Food allergy related hospitalizations increased more than 3 ½ times during the same period.
According to the National Cancer Institute pediatric cancers have become more invasive, although mortality rates have declined by more than ½ (due to improvements in medical treatment). Among children of all ages, the incidence of cancer only slightly increased, but the highest incidence of cancer occured during the first year of life and this has increased by 36% from the periods 1976-84 and 1986-94 according to Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results.
And, according to the Cancer Facts and Figures of 2010 by the American Cancer Society, 1 in 2 American men and 1 in 3 American women will develop cancer in their lifetime.
These are serious figures.
At the end of Bedtime Stories, I could not help but feel for the mother’s character who chooses a healthier lifestyle for her family against the culture in which we all live, learn, work and play. But like her, I’m the Mama in my kitchen with the power to carefully choose what my family puts into their bodies. I choose whole, organic, in season/local, unprocessed foods for my family. And I have the power to go one step further by adding more and more (and hopefully even more) raw vegan foods into my family’s diet as a disease preventative measure.
I never intended to be so different or so extreme in my food choices. I’m just a Mama who wants a healthy family.