Monday, November 18, 2013

GMO's, Veganism, Blogging, and My Thoughts and Reactions part 1.. the beginning of my food perspective.

OMG, are these VEGAN/ORGANIC/GMO????? The answer is: Some of them may be and I'm OK with that! 

This is a stream of consciousness post...  I have thought long and hard for a long time now about this subject and wanted to write some sort of eloquent piece with a clearly defined point of view and solutions to all of the thoughts that are swirling in my head about this issue,
 but that's not me.  I am not that type of writer or person.  I speak from the heart, typos and all.. (and trust me, there are always typos).

My passion when it comes to food, is healthy and delicious, mostly vegan, frugal, whole foods!

If you read back from the beginning of this blog (started in 2006 when my sons were kids and I was still married) I think that comes across.  I know that MOST of the readers of this blog understand my point of view. (Even though it is not clearly defined all of the time and HAS changed over the years.)

If I had a magic wand, and I could change the food system in America, (Worldwide hunger issues and food and politics are worthy of so many more posts!) I would wave it so EVERY single American had access to fresh produce, a kitchen to cook in, and the time, resources and knowledge HOW to create healthier food for themselves and their families.

I struggle with my weight as you all know. and I was raised a vegetarian from conception.  I have had a few bites of meat, here and there throughout my life and I have NO desire to have any more, ever!  While I am passionate about MY vegetarianism, I have to admit, that most of my life, it was because meat grossed me out.  I didn't care much about animals until I was an adult and learned about factory farming.. (and I can thank the purchase of Vegan Vittles for that!... I purchased it because I heard rumors of people making cheese out of nuts!.. CRAZY!!.. I had to know more!)..  I was enthralled and engrossed in the factory farming module of food production and realized, it didn't fit well with my ethics. At the time, my boys were probably 11 and 12..  I raised them vegetarian and started to transition a good portion of their diets to vegan...and that's when I started this blog!

It was such an amazing time in my life in so many ways...  I connected with other foodies who loved to create!  I was in awe every time I managed to swap an animal based food with a Plant-Based food...!  My kids and now Ex-husband were brutal critics, and I made it my mission to create recipes that would please them.  THIS IS HOW MELOMEALS WAS BORN..
.... and I have poured my heart and soul into this blog... for so many years now...  and I have grown and changed along with it.  Literally.  Grown into a person who weighed 310+ pounds and changed in so many ways when it comes to life...   Incidentally, my high weight of 310 plus was reached twice... the first time, as a vegetarian, the second time as a vegan.

See what I mean about stream of consciousness?  HAHA...   but I digress...

Melomeals was born from my passion on creating!  It was during this time that the GMO/Organic issue started to make its' way into the blogosphere...   I knew all about rBGH from years before, when I lived in Iowa. (I was raised in an cult.. and yes, another story for another time, but some of the cult members were the first frontiers of raising awareness of the GMO issue...and my cult raising is a HUGE reason why I don't just FOLLOW the herd when it comes to ANYTHING...  I was raised in an all inclusive cult environment, where EVERYONE believed what was being delivered, yet, I NEVER did... and as a result, I was ex-communicated when I was 12, and I ended up in the foster care system...)

I am not stranger to Organic Foods and GMO's, but alas, that is NOT where I've been called when it comes to Food Activism.

I realized, that my True Activism, is THIS BLOG.  This is the way I feel I can reach the most people to help make a change when it comes to food!  I was raised so poor... when we didn't live on the Cult Grounds, there were times we didn't have a car.  We didn't even have a refrigerator for a while!  My mom bought an old one we used for a while, but it used to shock us every time we touched it.  It was oh, so very bare inside... and part of the reason is that my mother was too proud to ask for help via the state and also, because she had an idea of only certain foods being affordable for us.  Now, please, don't get me wrong, I don't blame her for this.  The milk she wanted to give us was fresh from cows... and she did the bulk of the shopping at the local health food store (owned by people who were also in the cult... and they prescribed certain foods that people could and could not eat..)...

I am actually VERY grateful for my meager beginnings... because I was raised on whole food staples...  they say, with many Cult Ideologies, that 80% of the knowledge is amazing knowledge, and that is what draws people in... and I believe that!..  My whole food foundation is based on how I was raised and I am so grateful for that.

I can only imagine how fat I would have gotten if I had been eating the Standard American Diet,(SAD.. and the acronym only furthers in shaming people I think when it comes to their eating.. but again, another post for another day)..

Fast forward to this blog.  It has come to a point where everything I post here and especially on FACEBOOK, is up for scrutiny.  I am actually feeling nervous to post things.. because no matter what I do, someone will bring up some negative opinion about something.. and I'm sure they aren't even aware of how it sounds... but when you are asked the same questions over and over and over and judged by certain types... it gets old.. very old...   and It makes me feel like I am wasting my time and also like my PASSION, my WORK.. is being devalued by people who just like to sit behind a computer screen and judge.  Now, I KNOW that this is not the intent of many, but after receiving so many comments and emails that want to "enlighten", "argue", "enlist" or otherwise want to just pick apart the content I am providing, I don't really want to continue.

The recipes I post... I do with hesitation because of all of this.... and I don't like feeling this way.

My passion: Healthy and delicious, mostly vegan, frugal, whole foods!

Recently, my $25 Dollar Tree Challenge has come under scrutiny from people.  I have received emails and comments on Facebook that miss the point entirely.... and I am at a loss how communicate the message I feel so passionately about!...  This post is the first step and I will continue writing more... because that is the only option I feel I have.  Otherwise, I will just quit blogging, which I almost did after my foot surgery..    I want this blog to be something the feeds ME as well as YOU... and it hasn't been for a while... and I have to take responsibility for the fact that I have not been effective in communicating how I really feel about things...


  1. I so appreciate this post. Too many people think you can't eat healthy on a budget. I would rather eat non organic veggies than a piece of meat. I have to keep things in perspective and do the best I can. No matter what that is. I also don't have the right to judge anyone else's choices, nor do I feel they should judge me. I hope you don't stop blogging because I really enjoy your site.

    1. Thank you.. and I agree 100% about eating non organic veggies over meat!.. Or people eating non organic veggies, with their meat. Just eat more veggies! I don't think I'm going to stop blogging. I'm going to start blogging.. for ME...

  2. Aw, Melody, you and I have been blogging buddies since the early days. I also started by blog in 2006 and can so relate to what you say about being nervous to post some things for fear of scrutiny. But I can honestly say "not anymore/"Fact is, like you said, while you can wish everyone had the power to make fresh, non-GMO food available for everyone, your blog is just one blog. You are just one person. And you have done the world a ton of good just by being your wonderful honest self. We can't change the world. Every person has the power to make choices. Every corporation and conglomerate is made up of people--individuals just like us. You are leading by example by honestly showing the choices you made. And I think you are AWESOME for it [Incidentally, on my blog anyway, the loudest critics are what I term the Anonymouses [mices?!]. They don't have blogs of their own or even dare show their identity/ But they are the vegan police. F 'em ;)]

    1. You have always been a soul sister... I love everything you post and have such wonderful memories of the good ole blogging days!

  3. What a life you have had. I support and salute your courageous posting, hope you continue as long as you wish. Sorry to hear the Dollar Store challenge has been controversial... everyone I've spoken to about it has just been fascinated.

    1. Thanks... Life is pretty amazing... and I think that so many people have had pretty intense lives... we never know what someone is going through or has gone through.. thanks for your support!

  4. Melody, I don't know if I've ever commented but I've been reading your blog since the beginnings. I remember when we got divorced around the same time, I remember relying on your food journal and shopping list posts for inspiration when I only had $20/month for food (including food for my cats, who always got their noms prioritized), and really just knowing that I wasn't the only person going through these things while still being committed to plant-based foods really helped. I don't think I'm brave enough to put myself out there in a blog (hell I'm barely brave enough to write the occasional comment), so it's so understandable that you have your doubts. You're appreciated though, and I'm always happy to see a new post when I come over to melomeals. :)

    1. OMG, thank you so much! I am soooo glad that this blog helped you.. and wow... I'd love to hear more about how you survived on so little! .. I definitely recognize your user name, so you have commented before...

  5. Thanks for sticking with it despite the unnecessary negativity of others! I really appreciate this blog, especially your most recent posts on the $25 Dollar Tree Challenge and your food 'perspective'. As a person who has variable income where some months are really, really lean, I find your blog both helpful and inspiring!

  6. When people put themselves out there in the world, there are always going to be critics. It's very sad, but it is apparently part of the human condition. Some people just feel attacked when someone veers slightly from their own beliefs. I have been hiding from that kind of attention. I don't recommend it as a way of life, and am thinking of how I can move through the world strong while still vulnerable at this late time in my life. I, for one, would miss your voice very much. You have a unique perspective, an open heart, and wonderful gifts. The more you share, the more interesting it gets.