I posted this on Facebook 3 years ago:
Food for thought:”… A successful local food economy implies not only a new kind of food producer, but a new kind of eater as well, one who regards finding, preparing, and preserving food as one of the pleasures of life rather than a chore.” From The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Not too long before I made that post, I woke up and realized that avoiding GMOs involved more than just buying organic corn. That worked back in the 90’s, but not so much anymore. Reading labels carefully, I realized that I was going to have to make big changes and spend more money to avoid genetically modified food. After reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to stomach feedlot beef again. I remember the time a woman stopped me in the grocery store freezer section as I grabbed Tyson Chicken strips. “Tyson has the worst record for animal cruelty,” she said. “That’s interesting,” I quipped, as I tossed the bag into my cart. Shopping for my crew is quite an undertaking, and I was not in the mood for chit chat. As I hurried on, I thought, Wow, she must feel strongly to say something like that to a perfect stranger. But I’m more concerned about feeding my family than how chickens are treated. About a year later I watched Food, Inc., and I understood. How healthy could chicken raised in those conditions be?
So I spent some time feeling guilty every time I went to the store, wanting so badly to make changes, but not quite knowing how. I had kids with allergies and asthma and wondered how to help via food. I started buying more organic food, and made effort not to waste it since it was so expensive. I visited the farmer’s market. I made my own broth – chicken, vegetable, and beef. I bought pasture eggs. I found out you can have pasture chicken or you can have organic chicken, but if you want both it’s hard to find. If you do find it, you balk at paying for it. I did a 40 day sugar fast and broke my sugar addiction. I did a 30 day cleanse and found out I felt much better if I did not eat wheat. I started eating 2 veggies for every fruit and at least 3 green leafy veggies every day. I had allergy testing done and found out I probably shouldn’t have whey or eggs either. The eczema I’d had for 30 years cleared up once I ditched the eggs. I tested the kids with the worst allergies and joined them on an elimination diet. Ever been on the yeast elimination diet? A sugar fast is nothing in comparison. Somehow we survived.
When I made that Facebook post, the quote was more of a realization and a hope than a reality, the realization that I needed to become that kind of eater, and the hope that I could regard it as a pleasure. Looking back, after all the experimentation, I see lasting changes. I feel confident when I shop now. We eat a lot of nutritious food. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen; I find it relaxing. I’m ready to experiment more with making artisan bread with heirloom grains. My daughter’s kombucha SCOBYs are stinking up my pantry, so maybe I’ll try that too instead of paying over $3 a bottle for GTs. And on an unrelated note, maybe I’ll finally get my house decluttered.