Every parent knows that being stuck on the road with a hungry kid is a dilemma. It’s so hard to find healthy fare on the road that even some Green Eco-Moms find themselves in McDonalds. More importantly, most American kids eat at McDonalds. Think of the huge environmental impact McDonalds could make by greening the Happy Meal and replacing the Cheap Plastic Crap Happy Meal toys with an eco-friendly alternative toy!
The Wall Street Journal recently published a report about McDonalds Corporate Sustainability Blog. I wasn’t familiar with McDonalds environmental initiatives, so I checked out their blog, and left a comment suggesting McDonalds could do even more for the environment by introducing organic Happy Meal selections and eco-friendly Happy Meal toys.
Take a look at McDonalds response via this link. And let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!
And by the way, their response came 13 days after I left the comment! (The date doesn’t show up on their blog, but I have it via email).
Copyright 2008 OrganicManiaFiled under Cheap Plastic Crap, Eco-friendly toys, Food, Green Ideas & Stuff, Marketing, Organic Product Needs, Organic Restaurants, Parenting | Wordpress Comments (6) |
“What does that mean?” I asked DH who returned from a jaunt to Whole Foods where he was tasked with picking up some organic, fair trade chocolates.
“I don’t know! I’m in OrganicManiac Hell!,” he sighed in exasperation. “Doesn’t ‘Made in Vermont’ mean its good”?
What a brand image for the state! Kind of like “Paris fashion,” perhaps?
So I checked out the label on the Lake Champlain bunny he brought home. He’s right – it’s not organic, but there are no hydrogenated oils or corn syrup, and no preservatives.
Maybe it’s true – if it’s made in Vermont, it has to be good!
Copyright 2008 OrganicManiaFiled under Food, Holidays, Organic Product Needs, Parenting, Tips | Wordpress Comments (2) |
So long, Tony the Tiger. Hello, Peter the Probug.
I’ve posted here about how my son recognizes “Kid Marketing” at the grocery store as the hydrogenated oil and sugar-laden processed treats that are major no-nos.
Suddenly, it’s getting a lot harder to say “no” to “Kid Marketing,” because my son also recognizes the USDA Organic Seal. Now he says sweetly, “But Mama, it’s organic! It must be good for you even if it is Kid Marketing.”
And most times, he’s right…the “Organic Kid Marketing” products may still be good for him, but they often cost several times the price of conventional organics, which are already expensive enough!
I imagine that if my kid wouldn’t eat anything healthy at all, I might welcome the overtures of the organic kid marketers. But since he was doing fine with regular old organics, the organic kid marketing hype is an annoyance.
Is anyone else sharing my feelings of resentment at the onslaught of Kid Marketing at the organic grocers? It used to be that organic shops were a refuge from Tony the Tiger, Lucky the Lucky Charms Leprechaun and all the other Kid Marketing icons. I could take my son with me to the organic market, buy a carton of yogurt, some bulk oatmeal, and be done with the shopping with a minimum of fuss and whining.
But I knew I was in for it last week when my son breathlessly told me after school one day, “Katie has the coolest yogurt at lunch. I want some! It’s orange and it’s ORGANIC!”
At the organic market that afternoon, he pointed at a garish orange four-pack of Lifeway Organic Probiotic Whole Milk Kefir Cultured Milk Smoothies. That particular day, I was too tired to say no …it was after all organic and it was just yogurt.
But later I realized that I already have several large containers of biodynamic yogurt in the fridge, courtesy of our CSA. And he liked that yogurt just fine. So why was he so insistent on this yogurt?
“Well, it tastes good,” he responded.
I reminded him that we had plenty of yogurt in the fridge that tastes good.
“It’s ORANGE. My favorite color,” he announced.
“And?” I prodded.
“And it has an alien on it too!”
So I’m buying more yogurt with more packaging because my son wants orange packages with aliens? (Actually, it’s Peter the probiotic bug, according to the packaging).
Look, this story is a bit embarrassing to tell, but I know I’m not alone here…am I? Tell me, what’s been your experience with “Organic Kid Marketing.” Are you starting to feel the onslaught too?
Or is it just the products that has me down? Perhaps. Why don’t the frozen vegetables come with aliens on their bags? Works for me!
Copyright OrganicMania 2008Filed under Food, Marketing, Organic Product Needs, Organics | Wordpress Comments (6) |
DH’s question was ever more insistent: “Are you sure you want the organic olive oil?”
It wasn’t until I visited Whole Foods that I realized why he was asking. Organic olive oil is $12.99 a bottle versus $7.99 for the conventional, store brand 365 Everyday Value line of olive oil. At the rate we plow through olive oil (close to two bottles per month), that’s a price premium of $120 per year for organic versus conventional olive oil. And with recent price increases pushing the price of just a half gallon of organic milk to $4.19 at our local Giant grocery store, it’s important to make sure we’re spending money on the right types of organic foods.
That’s when I was reminded of a fantastic resource: the Environmental Working Group’s list of the “dirty dozen” most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables – the ones you should always buy organic. Olives don’t even make the broader list of 43 fruits and veggies surveyed. That made my decision easy – pass on the organic olive oil and save the money for our ever increasing organic milk bill!
Check out the “dirty dozen” and the “cleanest 12” lists here – you can download a wallet card to carry with you to the market.
— LynnFiled under Food, Organic Prices, Organic Product Needs, Organics vs. Conventional Foods | Wordpress Comments (12) |
The holiday season really got me thinking about how to maintain a healthy, mostly organic diet while traveling. The traffic down Route I-95 reminded me that I’m not the only one with this challenge.
Sure, you can pack healthy snacks to combat hunger while on the road. But when traffic pile-ups occur, or fatigue sets in, there’s no substitute for pulling off the highway and into a restaurant. But where to go? Even those who normally avoid fast food will confess that fast food restaurants can seem like welcome outposts off a major interstate. So it’s at these roadside McDonalds, Denny’s and Pizza Huts that you will find the bewildered vegetarians and organic foodies, desperately looking for something – anything – healthy to eat. And while some of these fast food restaurants have made great strides in offering healthier options, the food is not organic or locally grown. Sometimes it doesn’t even taste fresh!
Following is a listing of the best options I’ve found for organic on-the-go eating that should be easily accessible from most major interstates. No, they’re not perfect – I still dream of Broccoli Heaven, my fantasy roadside snackbar. But they’ll do in a pinch! What’s been your experience? Leave a comment and share!
Panera Bread – Panera features two kids’ menu items with partial organic ingredients – a grilled organic American cheese sandwich and a “Kid’s Deli” sandwich, which is organic cheese with your choice of roast beef, ham or turkey. Both items are served with Horizon organic milk* and Horizon squeezable organic yogurt.
Target – Yes, Tar-zhay! The in-store cafes feature a Kids organic mac n’ cheese meal, which is served with Horizon squeezable organic yogurt and Horizon organic milk. True confessions: as our local Target overlooks busy railroad tracks, which my 5-year-old son adores, I am a frequent diner at Target. That’s how I know that they are often sold out of the squeezable organic yogurt. This poses a problem when the well-meaning clerk asks if my son would like “fruit snacks” instead – as in the high fructose corn syrup, GMO variety. Of course, he would like some of this “special treat” – some GMO corn syrup and sugar to go with his organic meal! Arrggh….
Chipotle – While Chipotle does not have purely organic meals, some of its beans are organic, and its chicken and pork are sourced from non-factory farms. Chipotle also recently announced that it would serve only rBGH-free sour cream at its more than 530 restaurants. For a cool graph that shows where Chipotle’s “naturally raised” meats are available nationwide, click here.
* You may have heard of claims that Horizon milk is not truly organic. There were lawsuits filed alleging that the cows were not being treated in accordance with organic standards. However, the suits did not allege that the cows have been treated with growth hormones or antibiotics or fed unnatural substances, as can be the case with conventional milk. Given this, Horizon organic milk is a better choice than the conventional milk available at these fast food outlets.
Copyright 2008 OrganicManiaFiled under Food, Organic Product Needs, Organic Restaurants, Organics, Product Recommendations, Tips, Where to Buy Organics | Wordpress Comments (2) |
It seems that every day, there are new organic and eco-friendly products available. Yet still, there are missing items for Moms yearning to switch over to as many eco-friendly, organic products as possible. Perhaps this is because marketers are unaware of what Moms really need. Do they need a list? Here’s a start….
1. Organic Halloween Candy;
2. Organic, Eco-Friendly Toddler Wipes, a la Kandoo;
3. Organic Lice Treatments (ick);
4. Eco-friendly, “cool” lunch boxes for the age 8 and under set;
5. Eco-friendly, recyclable packaging for all organic and eco-friendly items;
6. Fun organic and eco-friendly toys for elementary school age kids;
7. Affordable organic cotton clothing;
8.Affordable, easy-to-use organic or eco-friendly diapering systems;
9.Affordable, truly organic cosmetics that really work;
10. Organic spas and beauty salons that are truly organic and eco-friendly.
What do you need? Please leave a comment and share!
Copyright Organicmania 2007Filed under Marketing, Organic Prices, Organic Product Needs, Parenting | Wordpress Comments (6) |