Much like the fairy tale like image above, an alchemy of bliss and nature one with us, happy animals, pure, fresh food… the food industry has led us down a garden path that they should be ashamed of and we should be outraged over.
We are trusting of brand names that have been in Grandma’s, Moms and now your cupboards. They are like old friends, we believe in them and have a certain amount of faith in them. We confidently place these brands in our cart with a good feeling that we bought the right thing. We trust them becasue they’ve always been there, the label, the brand, we trust it without question. This is a pretty happy relationship until one day we choose to read the label and check further. Maybe it is a health issue prompting you to question things or perhaps an article you read advised you of changing ingredients and risks that may affect your family. However you arrived at the destination doesn’t much matter, what does matter is what you find there. Mostlikely unknown things and words you cannot pronounce, in comes the question, “Is this best for us?” What does the other brand use? You look at that one and it is much the same. I remember doing this with tuna, most brands add soy, only 2 that I know of don’t. Why soy in tuna? It wasn’t always there…Blind trust, that is what I had, General Mills, ConAgra, Heinz, Yoplait, they all said I was doing the right thing. Liar, liar, pants on fire.
My goal in this was restoring my health and uncovering where toxins were hiding on my shelves. I remember very well buying granola bars and fruit snacks and filling a bowl on my counter so my family had “healthy grabs” for hungry moments. “Healthy” is the image the TV promotes on these items, however the labels tell you a far different story. Peel back the layers of high fructose corn syrup, the GMO grains, the sugar, the additives for shelf life, and the flavorings it is not really so great. Then add the process of processing, ummm no thanks. I’ve made granola bars and it is simple and the fresh taste is not even close to the bought kind. Anyway, evolving away from pre-packaged food was a journey that took time and detective work. Things I now know and am happy to pass to you for the taking. (I’ll share my recipe)
maglia borussia dortmund
One of the things I was born and blessed with was an inquisitive nature and the “why” factor. Digging leads to more digging until I fully understand it, and so it went with food. How I arrived is chronicled in the pages of this blog and since we are here I just want to talk today about how much you know about your food. This is not meant to make you feel bad in any way, I want to just show you more.
I felt I was a pretty savvy and smart gal, working in an industry that was fast and mind consuming, I did not have alot of time to ponder sources until an illness hit me square between the eyes and I began reading about food. My nutritional counselor helped me so much…Once I knew what to question I began looking for more. I remember when I realized the grocery store ads and the words on the boxes were not necessarily honest. Words like “Natural” gave a misconception to me, it alleged that no foreign matter was added, like it was freshly picked or baked and popped into the wrapper just for me on the other side of town. Betrayed by my snacks…really?
The reality of processing is a huge plant, filled with people in hairnets, a lab, a marketing consultant and mass quanities of ingredients from varying sources in a wide area of places. Local food is more than buying eggs from down the road and visiting the farmers market. Understanding the farmers market is another quandry in itself. A visit to the popular one in my area holds a few farmers that actually grow their own stuff and unfortunatley big trucks of packaged produce sold for minimal cost is offered. These people are not farmers, they are food brokers that attend auctions to buy excess at discounted prices to resell. The people in the stand yell out like auctioneers and the stuff moves quickly.
Sadly all the while the little old couple camped out with excess from their garden sit close by and watch the circus, selling just a few things here and there.
When did the packaged food become safer, better and more attractive? Are we so far past reality and dumbed down that we don’t even question this anymore? Even the local growers have gotten so big they have made compromises and gone the way of conventional so that when asked, “do you spray?” they proudly answer yes! Bigger is not better.
I was faced with other realities from the market, the blackberries I bought in the cello pack when brought home spoiled by the next morning, the produce travels so far and is handled so many times that by the time you buy it from the broker it is on its way to “eat it right now or toss it”.
The day I found the Local Harvest and Eat Wild websites was a beautiful day, it was when I realized food was being grown locally, it was sparse and hard to come by but people were doing it! Since the day I decided to launch the initiative to form the Co Op I have been on a journey that I want to take you all on with me.
All you need to do is first acknowledge that the food trucked in and traveled to our store is not the freshest best food we can find. Often it is the cheapest and this has it’s reasons but I don’t want to teach economics and unserstandings of subsidized crops, I just hope you can trust me and know that I understand it and simply want to help you eat better.
Franken food was never meant to be on our plates, the evolution of food as with everything that grows into massive operations was corrupted by power, money and greed, so it goes with Monsanto and Dow and these huge giants. We have little power to go after them and scold them but we have huge power in our wallets, buying power in numbers. What if we as I said before simply demand better food at affordable prices? Crappy food is cheap because it is subsadized by our trusty government. The small, local farmer who is toiling away doing it right gets no help, he actually gets pretty beat up by the FDA, the USDA and agencies that apparently feel threatened by age old processes of farming.
I often say that our great grandparents would not recognize our world, they worked to live not live to work like us. The work was that of a family farm, not massive operations but the milk cow, the garden, the few chickens, the pigs, it all worked together to feed the family. The focus was on the families survivial and kids knew that this was just how it went.
When we began to buy our food already prepared we got incredibly lazy, it was so much easier to let Betty Crocker and Marie Callender do the work so that we can make to to the couch faster to watch other peple lives on TV. Does it sound crazy??? it isn’t, this is reality today.
What if…we slow down, just long enough to understand this, it is step one to doing things differently and getting back to pure, whole food, local, sustainable, healthy food.
Check our our list when it comes out, see what is one it and inderstand Sustainable Choices wants to help you, we can teach you how to do this. This blog will continue to support things like growing your own garden, supporting health by avoiding toxins whenther it be pesticides or additives and processing, my shairing cooking methods and recipes, canning advice, homesteading ideas and how to’s. Jessamy will be chiming in with recipes and information too, keep an eye out for more!
What if you had a full freezer, were armed with recipes and rarely worried about running out of things. What if you had a confidence about what was on the table and did not feel scared every time a recall or alter about food was released. Our food is intimate and we are passionate about taste and having what we like, it is a sucker punch for the food industry to hit us there. Shame on them, but power to the people, vote with your dollars when you buy!
Come along with me and learn…it’s always fresh here!
Here is an interesting 30 minute investigative film about food. Watch and be amazed! http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29082.cfm