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Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction, Child

A couple days ago, Cora asked me why I haven’t bought Pirate Booty recently; that and Veggie Booty have been regular snack treats in our house, and it was a fair question.

I explained to Cora that one of the main ingredients in Booty is corn, and over 85% of corn in the USA is genetically modified. I’d called Robert’s Snacks, combed their websites, sent emails – and been told explicitly that yes, they use genetically altered crops. And while our diet may not be 100% GMO-free, it’s rather close, and that’s on purpose.

I’m not trying to get into a conversation on GMO foods here – that’s a much longer post, believe me, and I’ve made it a couple times. But this did lead us to a child-level version of that conversation, and I spent a few painful minutes talking through GMO crops and why we choose not to eat them with the girls.

Both of them stared at me in disbelief. “You mean scientists put the DNA of a scorpion into a TOMATO?” they yelped. (Yes, it’s true. And well-documented. How could I make that up?) But at the end of the conversation, they understood where we were coming from, and I tried hard to walk the line between explaining our position well and trying not to come across as too judgmental of others who might not move forward the way we do.

Why did I walk the line so gingerly, you ask? Because I just KNEW that this next sentence was coming –

“But Lily eats Pirate Booty every day in lunch!” Cora cried, distressed for her friend. Did this mean her parents just don’t care?

Yeah, I could totally see that one a mile away.

So we spoke a bit more about how different families make different choices, and these are the choices that are right for our family. And Lily’s mommy loves her a lot and works hard to make good choices for Lily’s lunch (which is true, I’ve seen her lunches) so Lily will be just fine.

I thought we were finished with this subject. I don’t know why I was so naïve.

Sure enough, Cora came home yesterday from school troubled. “Mommy, I told Lily that people try to make corn out of corn seeds and ladybugs and she thinks you’re just making up a story. She knows you can’t combine animals and plants!”

Sorry, Lily’s mommy, for all the questions you got last night.


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