COMMENTARY | If you’ve read my previous Yahoo! articles, you know I have four boys, all under the age of 7. My husband has a job where he’s gone many late nights as he works for our local bloodmobile. We live in Iowa. For those of you unfamiliar with Iowa, fresh and local vegetables are not always an option, especially this past winter, which has featured an abundance of snow days.
In order to provide the best nutrition for my family of six, I’ve taken up couponing. Many brands provide coupons for their food products, and I consistently rely on coupons to purchase packaged and frozen foods. These foods are the building blocks for many of the meals I prepare for my family. But they also provide a sense of security, given the very real threat of being “snowed in” for multiple days.
So you can imagine my irritation when I stumbled on this article at Breitbart: “Putting the Freeze on the Food Nannies.” From the article: “For those who follow the food nannies, you may already know that frozen foods are the latest addition to the naughty list. And for those familiar with the government, you won’t be surprised to learn that the National Institute for Health’s guidelines against frozen foods are out of date and without merit.”
Well, frozen foods are a budget-friendly supplement to many meals at my house — and I don’t expect NIH or any government agency to be in touch with American families, but perhaps regulators could at least consider including the factors of “budget” and “reality” when they draft their recommendations?
After all, without low-calorie options like Lean Cuisine, how many working professionals would turn to fast food on a more regular basis? Your average Lean Cuisine entrée has 285 calories, as compared to560 calories in a chicken sandwich from Wendy’s — or 1,015 calories in a chicken burrito from Chipotle.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a born-and-raised Iowa farm girl, and I appreciate the nutritional and economical values of fresh produce. Each summer, I carefully tend a garden. I don’t have a salt shaker on my kitchen table, and I talk to my kids about eating the right balance of foods.
But I don’t plan to change my grocery purchasing habits because the government tells me to. My boys are very healthy children. We all have normal (or below normal) blood pressure, and we all enjoy a balanced diet which includes canned and frozen foods.
Freedom isn’t just about speech, religion, or the right to bear arms. It’s also about adults choosing for themselves what they eat — and parents making their own decisions about what to feed their children. The “Nanny State” will not to tell me what I can and cannot feed myself, my husband, or our children.