We’ve reached Chapter 17 of Lori Alexander’s rehash of other books on Biblical womanhood. It is titled ‘Serving Healthy Foods Means Healthy Families’
A quick note: There will be no review of Chapter 18 ‘A Way To A Man’s Heart’ because all it contains is Lori’s ‘healthy’ recipes that call for use processed foods like canned spaghetti sauce and beans. Which puts much of what she’s claiming in this chapter down as a lie. The recipes look merely okay, not particularly tasty or man-seducing. But they really belong in this chapter on healthy eating, not in another chapter. Like much of the book this is another disjointed disorganized mess.
This chapter of the book, which does focus on healthy eating, features at the very end something that would fit much better in one of the disjointed chapters on housework. It features very blah, not so great recipes for making your own cleansers. How do I know her recipes are just plain and mostly suck? Because for the last ten years I’ve had severe allergic asthma, which means I react to things like the commercial cleaning products and personal care things with an asthma attack that sometimes lands me in the hospital. There’s nothing more frustrating than opening a bottle of multiple purpose cleanser marked ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ and waking up entubated in ICU. So I, like Lori, make the majority of things I use to cleanse with and take care of my own needs. I’ve gotten most of my recipes from various online sources, and they smell/work better than anything she’s listed in her book, which tells me that’s she’s not very serious about following her own advice. There are oodles of good recipes for these things that truly rival the commercially available stuff. A little essential oils can also add a special touch and nice fragrance so you do not miss the things you can buy quite so much.
So now I’m rambling. Lori is rubbing off on me, to my detriment.
Alright, we’re starting this chapter. Lori impresses upon you that as a mother you are your child’s health coach, serving up the right foods, making sure they get enough exercise and policing their weight before going on to claim that she’s a health nut who hates foods with “perservatives” (yes, another spelling error in this book!) and chemicals.
She goes on to make some possibly spurious claims about soil and nutrients, common in evangelical quiverfull, that I just do not know enough about to debunk. Yes, some farming methods do strip the soil of nutrients, but more farmers are switching to sustainable methods. This is becoming less of an issue in farming.
This is all followed by claims that organic food always tastes better. Hmm, not always my experience and yes, I do eat every bit as ‘organic’ and ‘clean’ as she claims. I have to. Remember that asthma? It also involves food preservatives, chemicals and some types of foods, even the organic stuff. I have to be extremely careful about what I eat. No matter what she, my doctor or anyone else claims a ripe apple off my un-sprayed organic Mackintosh tree in the backyard will never taste as good as a Belgian chocolate cupcake from the European bakery downtown. Or a cheap junky Hostess cupcake with the white icing loops on top. But I like breathing unimpeded so both sets of cupcakes are a no-no as I grumpily munch on the apple.
Stop trying to sell healthy eating as tastier! I’m not buying it, even if I eat that way for my own health struggles.
“But Lori, organic foods cost more—sometimes a lot more. How can we afford to eat healthier?”
That is a valid point in Quiverfull. Many of the families in my old church lived on very little, only buying whatever was on sale at Aldi or Walmart. Both stores not exactly known for healthy eating. Walmart does have a nice organic produce selection now. Oh my! I just complimented Walmart, something I try to never do.
While Lori does toss out a few good ideas, like shopping at your local farmer’s market, or going to Costco, she misses the fact that for those not living in a white middle-class bubble these things may not be possible! Many rural areas that are teeming with people who follow her advice who are living in food deserts without farmers markets or Costcos, with the only store around being an ancient decrepit IGA with a produce department that consists of two wilting heads of iceberg lettuce and a sack of potatoes.
Lack of availability is also a problem in the inner city. Telling people to just go buy this stuff is pure white entitlement and class-ism. It solves nothing and does not address the painful realities of poverty in this subculture. Plus, Costco and other warehouse clubs cost money to join that many will not have. Getting to those lily-white suburbs with warehouse clubs can be hard if you do not have reliable transportation.
She does finally arrive at a more practical solution: A backyard garden. But ruins it by claiming anyone can do it, even if you have a tiny backyard or no yard. While you can raise some things in planters, I always use carrots are a ferny filler around taller container plants, you cannot realistically raise enough produce to make a difference in a large Quiverfull family. Plus, seeds, tools, etc. also cost money. I grow a large garden yearly, and I’m not sure that what I end up spending on these things creates any great savings. I do it because of the food allergies.
What she misses that just about anyone can do is check with your local county extension office for options like community gardens. Many places have large community gardens that if you put in the sweat equity and work they will allow you part of the harvest, or allow you to take your own plot in the garden. It’s a good way to garden if you do not have that yard or access to a big enough fertile piece of ground.
“Be creative and ask the Lord for wisdom in this area since toxic chemicals are known to cause cancer.”
She mentions the ‘Dirty Dozen’ foods and cleaner alternatives immediately after making this disingenuous blanket statement about cancer. It’s just not that simple, Lori, no matter what you claim. People get cancer for many reasons, such as genetic tendencies in families, exposure to pollutants, etc, not just that Hostess cupcake of preservatives.
“My children were raised on healthy food,…….. Since I didn’t allow them to be picky eaters.”
This statement chills me to the core. It assumes that there is no such thing as food allergies, gluten intolerance or lactose intolerance. Food allergies can be quite common in children, so insisting that you can train a child to eat anything you deem healthy is just a bad idea. If your child tells you that every time they eat this or that it causes this reaction you need to be sensitive to that. Not all food struggles are mere rebellion.
“Everything I make is delicious”
Nope, I’ve seen your recipes in the next chapter. I would say they are tolerable and bland, but delicious is stretching the truth. But then again I think Tabasco sauce is necessary in all of them. Cultural differences.
“Goat’s milk is an easily digestive protein..” (speaking of baby formula)
The jury is still out on that one. Some countries health organizations have called for a ban on feeding raw goat’s milk to infants. Some infants have contracted hemolytic uremia syndrome. This is why there are very strict standards of purity and pasteurization on infant formulas. I’m very confused why Lori isn’t pushing the easiest, cheapest and more organic way to feed your baby – breast feeding.Now we move into Lori’s recitation of her brain tumor problems, that seem rather unlikely given the statistics of recurrence rates of brain tumors and rates of mortality. If, if she had the number of tumors she’s claiming and stopping most of the treatment as she has claimed she’d be six feet under now.
So the rest of this chapter is Dr. Lori Alexander giving out health advice without a medical license and claiming that foods alone will heal you and that drugs never will. She goes so far as to claim this:
“While doctors are great for emergency situations, they aren’t as great at healing chronic conditions or diseases.”
This is where I would normal insert flipped birds and curse words. This is pulled out of thin air. I’m going to have my 57th birthday soon after being born with severe asthma and allergies and I’m only alive because of access to constant medical treatment of my chronic condition. As is she if her brain tumor claims are real.
I cannot take any more of her nonsense today. She goes on to claim that sunshine sterilizes things and that you must keep your windows open to let in fresh air to stay healthy. More piles of cow dung. With the exception of her awful cleanser recipes and other claims about eating acidic and non-acidic foods we’re done with the chapter. Good. I’m getting cranky. I’m allergic to nonsense too.
Next week we’re skipping her food recipe chapter and going straight into chapter 19 – THE FINAL CHAPTER – which is a stupid roundup of her bad ideas. Yippee!!!!!!!
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for nine years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape
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