Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A 13-year-old's Thoughts on Organic Food

I asked my 13-year-old son to write about organic food for this blog. Being 13, he gets a little side-tracked, but I think he has some helpful advice to share. His plan this summer was to “do nothing” – no camps, no sports, no job. Asking him to write this post was an interruption in his do nothing summer, so I suppose I’m lucky to get four paragraphs. When he first proposed his do nothing summer, I worried that I was raising a slacker, but upon further reflection I realized there will be very little opportunity for him to do nothing in this life, so this summer is our gift to him. Following his lead, I’m trying to carve out a little do nothing time this summer too. You’ve probably noticed my posts have been fewer and further between. But maybe you’re finding some do nothing time of your own and haven’t been following closely. Let’s hope that’s the case and if it isn’t, well, maybe you need to find a little do nothing time of your own. Enjoy.

Some Advice on Convincing Kids to Eat Organic Food

by Brady Achterberg

It seems that everything invented over the last one hundred years was something that we were better off without. TV and video games are taking up time that we would spend exercising. Cars smog up the atmosphere and cause global warming. Cell phones and microwaves may be radioactive, computers cause geekiness, Velcro takes away people’s ability to tie shoes, plastic makes landfills, and robots take up job spaces. And non-organic food… well, everyone reading this blog knows about non-organic food by now.

One of the things that I’ve really gotten into over the last three years is chickens. I am obsessed with chickens. (When you have them, you become obsessed with them; there’s no way around it.) Chickens really helped me (and maybe my little brother Ian, too) become more familiar with organic food, and now, curses, I can’t stand the taste of normal chemical-addled hot dogs and milk. But before we had chickens, I absolutely refused to eat natural foods, I boycotted maple syrup, and I went out of my way to eat “normal” food. I don’t actually know whether this has to do with chickens or not, because my little sister is about my age when I hated organic food and she’s of the same mindset of me at that time, but I would advise any person who’s trying to get their kids to eat organic (and I’m told that’s why I’m writing this post) to get some kind of farm animal to show around. Not as food, in case you already have plenty like that, but as a pet. It worked for me.

For those of you in cities, where you can’t legally own a chicken, I can’t help much, but I would suggest getting organic food without telling anyone that it’s organic. Sometimes kids can taste the difference (maple syrup, cheese crackers, most kinds of milk, hot dogs), but many times they can’t, and by the time they realize what they’re eating, they’re used to it. Also, if they are really, really insistent about a certain kind of food, then don’t bother shoving the organic version down their throats. Lastly, give them foods that taste good to them, and the kid’s definition of “good” is adult-speak for “simple:” in other words, they like stuff that has one taste, has a normal texture, is appealing in the visual sense, and has a simple taste.

So that’s about all the advice that I could give someone trying to get a kid to eat organic, but I have to say that I’m just saying what worked for me; there’s not necessarily any guarantee it will work for you. Also, to any kids reading this blog: I’m sorry I betrayed this information to the enemy. I had no other choice.


  1. Way to go Brady! Well Done

  2. Nicely written, Brady! CHICKENS!

  3. I think i get it now! :O)

  4. So that's it.Each time an organic food delivered to us, One of the delivery crew informed us that Birds select conventional over organic wheat when given free choice, Higher protein in conventional seed, Higher aflatoxin in organic seed, Negative olfactory qualities of organic seeds resulting from being grown in rotted animal sewage.
    These findings are more suggestive of hypotheses in need of testing than anything else.

  5. Yes that's a wonderful thoughts.Children should be introduced to this concept so that they can grow with it and then decide at a later point whether they feel it needs thought and judgment before choosing just any other food.