WHO NEEDS TO BUY BABY FOOD?

            By now you've no doubt heard about the big baby food debacle, where heavy metals including arsenic have been found in lots of baby food.  And of course people are scrambling for "more government oversight."

             How about just not buying baby food?  Teresa and I raised two babies a few years ago.  We had a little baby food mill that went with us everywhere.  The kids ate whatever we ate.  We just stuffed it into the little cylinder, cranked the handle, and out came baby food.  Easy peasy.

             We never bought a single jar of baby food.  Ever.  We also didn't use disposable diapers.  We used cloth diapers and had the diaper pail by the toilet.  It wasn't smelly or yucky and sure was cheap.  What do people spend on disposable diapers these days?  And how about landfills?  I'm a big fan of cloth diapers.

             Strollers.  My goodness people spend lots of money on strollers.  That's something else we never had.  Ever.  We just carried them.  And in those days, we didn't have all these nifty cloth wrap-around carriers and papoose bags we have today.  And as soon as they could walk, they walked.  Do you know how far a 2-year old can walk?  Just slow down, hold their hand, and let them walk . . . most of the time.  They'll develop lungs and muscles and a can-do spirit.

             Toys?  Who needs toys?  Our kids spent hours playing with Tupperware.  They'd open up the kitchen cabinets where the Tupperware was stored and learn all about shapes and sizes and colors.  Big boxes?  Yes, they're wonderful.  A big box can be everything from an aircraft carrier to a fort to a dungeon.  Anything the imagination can dream up.  They don't need talking toys and phones.  Let them imagine stuff.

             We didn't have a TV either--still don't.  If we wanted to see something, we could always get to a friend's house that had one.  I remember as a child going to a neighbor's house to see the first human in space, then to see the moon walk.  Did I miss TV?  Not in the slightest and I'm much richer for it.  Our kids didn't have video games or any electronic hand held devices.  What a horrible childhood.

             But they knew how to cook at 6 years old.  How to move a herd of cows at 8.  How to butcher a chicken at 4.  How to plant vegetable seeds at 3 or 4, and how to tell the difference between weeds and vegetables.

             If we want the next generation to be less materialistic and consumptive, we need to start early.  Babies don't need to be expensive.  The time to develop an awe toward simplicity and desire toward imagination is now.

             One other item on baby food.  Perhaps if parents fed babies what we're eating as adults, we'd think twice about the quality of what we're eating.  Maybe then we'd eat better.  Do you think?

            Who needs baby food?