Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Even if meals needed to be prepared quickly, I tried not to feed my daughter processed food, especially from cans. There’s no substitute for fresh, locally grown foods.
Many cans are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA), a toxic chemical now banned from baby bottles in Canada and Europe. Even if the food is organic, if it comes from a can, it likely contains BPA, which may be associated with cancer and problems with brain development.
I love going to farmer’s markets. My daughter has gotten to know local farmers, and she has become more connected with the whole process of growing food. How sad, if her only exposure to groceries was is to see it shrink-wrapped at the supermarket.
Food from local farms is usually grown with pride, and it travels a short distance to your table. It will be more nutritious. Produce grown across the country, or in another continent, is usually picked before it’s ripe. So it’s less nutritious. There’s nothing like picking a tomato grown in the backyard.
Conventional milk is a cocktail of hormones and antibiotics. I try to always buy organic milk. But milk itself isn’t necessary. Asian cultures don’t traditionally drink dairy products, and Asian diets are very healthy.
—Dora Calott Wang, MD, a mom of a nine-year-old daughter, a psychiatrist and historian at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and the author of The Kitchen Shrink: A Psychiatrists Reflection on Healing in a Changing World, in Albuquerque, NM