No Organic Allowed

10 13 No Organic Allowed

Stealing Time Volume 1 Issue 3 Spring 2013 Quarterly Review by Holly Zemsta

Stealing Time is a magazine for, about, and by parents. When I discovered its existence, I was immediately intrigued, yet wary as well. Would it have an angle, an agenda to promote? Would it rise above the content of most parenting magazines out there? Thankfully, the answers are no and yes. Stealing Time lives up to its mission statement: “To provide a venue for quality literary content about parenting: no guilt, no simple solutions, no mommy wars.” Published quarterly, with an additional annual issue on pregnancy and childbirth, the magazine features a theme for each issue, this issue’s being “Relations.” Like the magazine’s take on parenting itself, the theme seems open to interpretation, which I found to be a positive thing.


My favorite piece in the magazine is Lisa Sinnett’s “No Organic Allowed,” a story that begins as a deceptively simple day in the life of a woman in Detroit. Elisa has just dug her car out after a blizzard so she can take her two small children to the supermarket. She needs to go because she has just received her WIC coupons and they are desperate for food. The conflict of the story comes when the cashier refuses to let her purchase organic cheese, despite the fact that it’s on sale and is the same price as regular, WIC-approved cheese. As the people behind her grumble and the cashier and manager treat her with barely veiled contempt, Elisa remains calm, even when her toddler ends up wetting her clothes. After leaving, she returns home to find the parking spot she labored to clear taken by someone else, yet she still manages to find hope in the nearby pine tree that is “still living, growing, and rooted in its own space.” The story is a heartbreaking, human look into the reality of poverty.

Stealing Time also features wonderful black-and-white photography that serves as the perfect backdrop to each of the pieces. I enjoyed almost all the work in the magazine, and I felt that this is a quality addition to the lit mag world that anyone, parent or not, would enjoy reading. It’s a thoughtful look at the world of parenting, but with a broad enough lens that everyone is included.

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