Organic instant soup – Oxymoron or Life Saver?

Today I was thrilled to discover that I can buy ready-made, organic tortilla soup and chicken soup in a tetrapak box, off the shelf of my main stream grocery store.

tortilla soup with cheese and avacadoI am scared of putting chemicals into my body and my kids’ bodies.  I see people all around us with autoimmune problems, immune problems, cancer, neurologic issues, kids on the autism spectrum, etc.  Some of these are in our own family, others are prevalent around us.  I ask myself why and realize that I just don’t know.  What I do know is that the way we eat and the products we use in our homes, businesses and schools have changed in the last 60 years. The way we live our lives has changed in the last 60 years.

It’s not my place, and it’s not a good use of my time, to try to judge whether these changes are good or bad.  They just are. We each have the opportunity to live our lives to the best of our abilities and make the choices that we think are best for ourselves and our families. I have no desire to live without my smart phone and internet service and I like that my children participate in 3 different organized sports, plus scouts and religious ed. I like that my husband and I are involved with our church, civic organizations and that we both work full time at jobs that are important to us.

All of this means that I have to accept that neither my husband nor I have time to cook for our family on a regular basis.  This means that we buy pre-packaged, pre-made foods, that we heat in the microwave or on the stove. When I can find these foods with all natural ingredients, in containers I’m not scared of, I’m happy. When I can find organic versions that fit our budget, I’m thrilled.

So tonight, between dropping my daughter at soccer, doing a quick site visit for work and picking up my sons Cambells Organic Chicken Tortilla Soupfrom Tang Soo Do, I’m eating Campbell’s Organic Tortilla soup.  I’ve added cheese that we bought pre-shredded, and some avocado from the box of fruit and vegetables we get delivered from Boston Organics. I’m eating it perched on a stool in the kitchen, alone.

Would I rather be eating at a table, with my whole family? Maybe, sometimes I would, and sometimes I do.

Tonight I’m accepting that we all make choices.  I’m glad my children are out at organized sports. I’m glad I spent the day meeting with university researchers about climate adaptation issues our city is facing, organizing our new community garden, helping a teacher with her new school garden and teaching Boy Scouts about nutrient pollution in our river.

We don’t find time to write as much on our blog as we’d like to, and we don’t cook very often.  But it is really thrilling when I can find food that I can heat and eat and not worry (as much) about whether it is making me sick, or not as smart, or driving me to an early grave.

This weekend is our family’s annual camping trip with friends.  I’m looking forward to enjoying nature, enjoying time with my family and cooking with friends around the campfire.

Happy Greening,


p.s. Did you know that tetrapak cartons (including juice boxes) are recyclable in many single-stream recycling programs? Update: Most municipal recycling programs have stopped taking juice boxes and tetrapaks.  Now we have to throw them away 🙁

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