Welcome to another Real Food Quote Monday (RFQM). Each Monday, I quote from something I read, and ask you to add your thoughts. This time, I really crave your thoughts as I think it is a great topic for us to share our collective wisdom!
It is amazing how much this topic comes up, and there are as many answers as there are people. During the eCourse, several forum discussions have come up around this question. And here is the question.
How do you share the message of good, healthy, and real food, especially with those are who aren’t open to it, or don’t get it?
A Letter From Norway
The Spring 2010 issue of the Weston A. Price Foundation‘s Wise Traditions quarterly journal, includes an encouraging letter from Ames, Norway. I really enjoyed reading it! Bjorn Solberg shares how blessed his family is to obtain two gallons of raw milk weekly, which has helped he and his family recover from serious illnesses without medication. He said, “our whole family had ‘pigfluenza’ and we all recovered and got natural immunity without any mediation, except raw milk and time.”
He is a teacher and leads a small WAPF chapter. He says he wants to make the message of real food known to everybody. He was hospitalized recently, and I’m not exactly sure why from his letter, but I got the impression it was because of running himself ragged. Now recovered, he says:
“In a nutshell, I try to live more wisely, and not overdose people with information. To convince stiff adults is only a waste of time and energy.”
That last sentence was funny to me, but I think it is so true. Someone who does not want to hear what we have to say just won’t hear it.
We’ve probably all been in this position with a family member or friend. The topic of food may come up, and we have an opportunity to share. Do you share? How much do you share? What is the reception? What do you do if someone is not receptive?
My Approach, For What It’s Worth
I am not a confrontational person. If someone asks me my opinion, I do share. But I struggle with how much to share. Sometimes I get so excited about what we’re doing and learning and experiencing that I can get carried away. And other times, I fumble my words and nothing comes out right at all.
I try to watch for cues that the other person is interested before I keep going. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren’t. If not, I try my best to not go on too far. Sometimes, I can just tell that I better not say anything else. I don’t like to push something on someone who is not receptive.
A usual strategy is to stick to just talking about my family and the Lord, rather than more technical information about traditional methods or how I make cheese. If I get the feeling that the person feels weird or uncomfortable, I do my best to graciously change the subject.
If I feel welcomed to continue, I can gush on and on about God’s wonderful food. I think it is helpful to demonstrate that we believe we’re on the right track because of the amazing changes in our food allergies from eating and cooking with traditional methods. If a person is at all wary of what we’re doing, I think it helps to reveal that in addition to our desire to glorify God through embracing His food, we have seen great results through a GNOWFGLINS diet.
Despite my best efforts, which I full well know are not perfect, people still don’t understand what we’re doing. One person I know thinks we just eat all organic food, with no discrimination. (In actuality, we know that our food must go beyond organic.) I have to accept the fact that no matter what I say, my true points might not be heard. People hear what they want to hear. I have to let that be. It is not my job to convince everyone, or think for everyone. With God’s grace, I do my best to explain if I am given an opportunity, and I try to do it all out of love.
One thing my husband and I do more often than not is refer someone to this blog and tell them to watch our video.
Wisdom From eCourse Members
I’d like to share some of the wise (and funny) things that have been said on the eCourse forum about this broad topic. The topic is broad enough to cover bringing loved ones round, sharing our perspective on food, stewardship and health with friends and extended family, and it even applies to what foods to bring to functions.
Jen said, “The only suggestion I can make is to live in a constant state of prayer about this. You may not be able to change the mind and heart of your family, but God can.” Regarding her husband, just look at this great strategy! “To educate my husband, I get the most important information that is very direct, put it in a binder, and ask him to read the articles on road trips, when waiting for an appointment… I don’t give him a book. He has no patience with that. He needs hard evidence in writing, not a conversation.”
Dani says her approach is, “kinda like sharing the gospel–you see how serious they are about seeking the truth, and then you delve appropriately.”
And for a giggle, here’s what Holly says about people who she’s told about the eCourse. “Try explaining to people what exactly we are doing with the eCourse. ‘Is it a cooking class?’……..’Oh, you didn’t know how to cook rice until now?’……..’Why would you dehydrate nuts when you can already buy them roasted?’ I am labeled the “health nut” at church! ” [Wardee: Of course, everybody reading this post knows that we soak grains and nuts to neutralize phytic acid, right?]
On the topic of what foods to bring to functions, Valerie shared her wise approach with a built-in Plan B: “I decided that I am going to just go out on a limb and try to come up with a suitable tradition foods offering for the events I go to. Soaked muffins generally go over pretty well for brunches, and I have also taken plain yogurt mixed with fresh blueberries and drizzled with a bit of raw honey. There are tons of soups and other dishes you can make using soaked or sprouted beans and grains, and no-one may even notice the difference. If it’s a hit, you can use that opportunity as a teaching moment to educate people about your traditional methods. That’s what I’ve done at my church, and some of the ladies have asked if I would do a little class with them. I do the same thing with the babysitter. … Each parent has to bring 2-3 food items/week to contribute to breakfast, lunch, and snacks. I use that as an opportunity to introduce them to healthy options like pastured eggs, soaked baked goods, coconut milk puddings sweetened with coconut sugar, herbed yogurt cheese, pastured beef. I figure if no one eats, I’ll just take the leftovers home and feed them to my family. ”
Tara’s son was super brave and gave a great example for us all of baby steps. “My 16 year old son took a bit of my raw goat milk kefir to a study group and used it in their project. They were doing a presentation on ‘power smoothies.’ He had them all taste it and of course most of them turned their nose up at it. BUT – the good news is that now they’ve heard of kefir!! None of them knew what it was before my son brought it to the group. So sometimes when I think all my efforts are in vain, I have to remember the times like these that tell me my efforts are paying off.”
I hope you were encouraged by what these ladies had to share. I was! Now it is your turn — how do you know what and how much to say to curious (or not curious) friends and family? What do you do if someone is not receptive? What do you do if they are? What do you bring to social functions? What other advice would you offer on this topic?
(Photo credit: “Fruit Salad” by Sonya.)