Going to the grocery store isn't as easy as it used to be. We're not talking about the impossible hummer-sized shopping carts: It's the food.
We all try to fill our families' dinner plates with healthy nosh, but really, what's in a name? Is "organic" that much better than "vegetarian-fed"? What about those other catchy labels? Grass-fed, corn-fed, cage-free, hormone-free, free-range.
It sounds more like a line from a Dr. Seuss book than a grocery list. So how do we know what's what?
Illinois Farm Families has a program that aims to help moms figure it all out by giving them a front-row seat to life on a local farm. Each year a group of Chicago-area moms are chosen to be "Field Moms" who visit farms where corn and soybeans are grown and hogs and cattle are raised.
It shows them what goes into growing crops and caring for the livestock, and the technology and business behind farming.
"We think the best way to answer moms' questions (about food) is to give them first-hand experiences; to let them see farms, meet the people who grow and raise their food and to have conversations about what happens on today's farms," says Lori Laughlin, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Farm Bureau, one of the five organizations behind Illinois Farm Families.
To find out what these Field Moms learned, we emailed and chatted with 11 current and former ones. Here's what they had to say about how the program influenced their approach to feeding their families: