Sunday, January 22, 2012

Why Do You Do What You DO?

I was posting on my weight loss blog today and one of my blogger friends asked why we made everything from scratch.  "Was it a philosophy of life or is it just because you like to have it all self made?", she asked.  I began to explain that here in the U.S. we have one of the lowest food CPIs but our food was total garbage and even it was on the rise. Our meat is raised on concrete farms where the cow stands hoof deep in manure and never sees a blade of grass and certainly doesn't eat it. Once our meat is slaughtered it is then soaked in ammonia to kill all the bacteria that has taken over the animal due to poor care at the mass farms.  This technique has made it possible to save the scrap portions that had previously been rated for dog food and now they are made into hamburgers for all our favorite fast food restaurants, including our children's school lunches! Think I'm making this up? You can read for yourself here, here, and here.  Unfortunately it doesn't stop there. Our bread has zero nutrients when they are done with it and has to be fortified just to have half the nutrients of fresh ground wheat bread. Our milk is tainted with antibiotics and rBGH and then pasteurized to kill all the bad bacteria present, again, due to poor care for the animals. The sad part is the the pasteurization process kills all the good bacteria that is beneficial to we humans who drink it. So basically we are drinking a product that does us little good.  And the list goes on....

Raw milk from our local farm.

Notice she is a free range cow able to eat grass at her leisure and is not hooked up to a milking machine for hours on end.

Most people have one of two opinions. The first is "I don't even want to know. It taste good and that's all I care about".  The second is "What am I supposed to do, quit my job and learn to make, grow, and raise everything myself?"

I don't think either of those positions are correct. I understand we live in a modern world and most people would not want to live the farm life. That doesn't mean you deserve to eat ammonia soaked, feces filled meat, contaminated veggies, and chicken filled with so many hormones to grow larger birds in a shorter amount of time that they can only take a few steps before their legs give out and they fall! We have a right to fresh, safe, nutrient-dense food!
A pork shoulder roast from the local butcher.

Cooking the roast in the rotisserie to make pulled pork for dinner.
Some might say "What can I do?"  There are many things you can do, but my first suggestion would be to educate yourself. After a short period of time you will begin to see how corrupt our food system is and you will want to find a better way for you and your family. The second step is to take your hard earned dollars somewhere else. Our grocery stores all sale the same products. You will not get better meat from a high end grocery store unless you go to an organic-only store such as Whole Foods.  If you can't afford to shop at a store such as that for everything (I know I can't) then find a small local butcher shop who is willing to answer your questions on processing, where their meat is raised, by who, what the animal eats, etc. If you don't have a butcher in your town look for small farmers. If all else fails find the closest one to you and make a day trip to get what you will need till the next time you can make the drive.

This is the amount of fresh produce Racey & I got in one day for volunteering at our farmers market co-op.
Begin to replace the filler foods you normally serve with fresh vegetables. Take all the snack food in the pantry and replace them with fresh fruit and a few home baked items. You have options, you just have to choose them.

Dehydrating pineapple for trail mix, pizza topping, or just to snack.
I remember when I was a young mom, my son started suffering from migraines and ADHD symptoms. Everything I read said to quit feeding him processed foods, caffeine, wheat, dairy, etc. till I could find the cause of his issues. I was so young and ill-informed I had no idea how to do it. I can remember lamenting to his father that I had no clue how to achieve this. All I knew how to feed my family was what the grocery store sold and it ALL was pre-packaged foods and easy to cook meats. Time has passed and my son is now almost 17 and I have finally found a way to feed him without killing him. The only problem is that now he, like most of America, is accustom to crap food and it takes him a while to actually develop a taste for real food.  Just the other night I pulled a crab, artichoke, and spinach cream cheese dip from the fridge and placed it on the counter with some crackers for Racey to munch on while I was finishing dinner.  McClane wandered by and asked what it was. I told him knowing he wouldn't try it, and after a few minutes he said "This is another one of those foods that, if you just eat it, and don't look at it tastes REALLY good."  Racey and I both laughed and agreed with him.

McClane was fussing at me for taking pictures of him making butter from the cream off our fresh milk.
So I guess my question for you is, "Why do you do what you do?"  Do you chose to stick your head in the sand and ignore the reality of our food crisis?  Do you think you can't afford to eat any better than you currently are, or are you ready to take charge of your health, your food, and your money and demand only the best for you and your family?


  1. YES!!! I was reading about all of this in the book Skinny Bitch. It's really interesting. It's kind of hard out to attach to that image of concrete farms out here... since it's a lot of real farms. But you have to have friends to get you hands on any of the butchered pieces. They usually grow for stores back east that want "grass fed" beef! Ironic, really.

    I wish our co-op was closer, that's for sure! :) I love that you make your own butter.


  2. I've been ignoring FB lately but I'm posting this link on my status. Most of my friends are vegetarian but but they are all interested in the health and well-being of everyone on the planet and are good at helping to educate. I do what I do because I am a firm believer in informed choice. I am so lazy, that I'd rather make my life super simple. But to do that you have to know what is available to choose from. My choice is to work very little and live very much! I eat simply and don't buy processed foods. I make much of the things I need out of free or thrifted goods. I may not have a dime in my pocket but I never feel poor. There's no shortage of 'stuff' and I'm not going hungry so life is good.

    1. Good for you on knowing what you want and making it happen! So many of us get caught in the trap of work, work, work. I love to thrift store shop as well and think there is plenty out there that other people are getting rid of.

  3. I just posted about that, well sorta, today. Other then a turkey bought from the store the rest of our meat comes from the farm or my chickens here and the birds I shoot and I grow and process all my veggies. I do have to buy fruits because in MN other then summer time fruit we don't have fresh stuff in the winter. I freeze lots of berries and apples but never enough for the full winter. Anyways, you are very right and I am glad that I stopped by your blog from you other one. YEAH!!
    Keep teaching Eaba. Take care and God Bless!!


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