How to Respectfully Handle Gifts of “Unclean” Food from Family


How to Respectfully Handle Gifts of “Unclean” Food from Family

It sounds like such a first- world problem! Especially as we approach Thanksgiving, a time when we reflect on our many blessings and reach out to others in need. However, this is an issue that comes up in our family and may in others that embark on healthier, cleaner eating. In our family, we don’t have hard and fast rules about what we eat. We truly try to eat healthy and clean but don’t abstain totally from the processed, non-organic, non-whole food fare.

When I shop, I do my best to buy organic fresh and frozen produce,  meats,  dairy, and grains, and BPA-free canned items like beans, soups, and tomato products.  Snacks are usually organic and non-gmo as well. This is something I feel is important  with our daily eating habits to reduce the toxic load. As we know all too well, we are bombarded with toxins from the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the personal-care products we use. I don’t think it’s unreasonable or extravagant at all, and I believe we need to vote with how we spend our money. The more clean food we buy means less processed, pesticide-ridden, gmo food is being bought and eventually being produced.

So how do we handle this respectfully when family or friends generously give food?

Educate without being condescending or disrespectful. My Mother in-law very generously scouts out sales and will purchase things like 4 packages of meat/$20. She shows me the flyer and asks what we would like. For the most part there isn’t any organic poultry or grass-fed meats on the list but usually there is something cleaner like turkey cutlets raised with no antibiotics from family farms. I happily comment on the better quality of those, and say something like “These would be great, especially since we try to buy and eat organic poultry with no antibiotics”.  When it comes to beef, I might say something like “It’s amazing how much healthier grass-fed beef is than the grain-fed. I’ve read some  interesting studies on how it’s lower in fat and higher in Omega 3’s (the good fats) than grain-fed. This is also helpful with the BPA issue. I’ve brought up BPA can linings in conversation while cooking a recipe with canned tomatoes with family. While someone said, “well that’s what I buy”, I respectfully said, ” That’s fine of course, but  this is the reason why I don’t”.  I go on to explain the leaching of BPA into foods, especially those that are acidic, like tomatoes. Then I point out that BPA is an endocrine-disruptor and how it is harmful. I like to mention again that I’m fine with the price being a bit higher for the quality.

Be quick to point out the sales on clean food. I recently mentioned to my mother in-law how excited I was to see organic frozen veggies on sale for $1.49  and how I stocked up! I also note particular stores that typically carry such foods at reasonable prices.

It’s extremely important to be thankful and realize all of our blessings, and I hope this helps  you let the people in your life know the value of  living a less-toxic life!

Does this happen to you? How do you handle it?

Buon Appetito !

Sara ~Fresh Foodie Mama~


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