Saturday, April 28, 2012

Food freedoms

It seems I never stop thinking about food.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  My quite round rear end speaks volumes to my love of food.  Food is everywhere.  You can't live without it, but without good food, you can't live well.  That is just the problem.

Good food.  What is it?  Where do you get it?  How do you cook it.  These are all questions that seem to be on the minds of many people.  These are all questions that would be ridiculous to anyone living more than 100 years ago.  Back then, you grew it yourself or bought it from the farmer.  You could get simple ingredients at the mercantile, but otherwise, the farmer was your man.  You cooked from simple ingredients.  There was no packaging. 

Now we go to the grocery store.  The problem is that most of what is in the grocery store isn't food.  It's a conglomeration of multiple ingredients to form something that resembles food and can be ingested.  Companies have sold us on the idea that the easier and cheaper it is, the better.  We're told not to think about a thing.  Just buy a box of this and your problems will be solved.  Just add water!  Microwave ready!  Heat and eat!

So, here we sit with a nation of people who don't know how to cook.  They don't know how to do the most basic tasks in the kitchen.  If asked, they'll tell you that they have no time.  It's too expensive.  They don't know how.  If they're honest, they'll say that they just don't care.

Now we have genetically modified foods.  Corn, soy, canola, sugar beets that have genes from other SPECIES spliced into them.  Genes that become so virulent, that we can't keep them from spreading to the other unmodified versions.  All this so that we can spray enormous amounts of pesticides on our crops.  Some of the seeds have pesticides as a part of their genetic material.  This means we are then eating all those pesticides.  Then we wonder why everyone is sick?

So now we're told that we have no right to know what's in our food.  We have no inherent right to choose foods that we deem healthy.  The government has been invited into our kitchens.  The government gets to decide who we buy from and what we buy.  Huge corporations, with no conscience, are telling the government that small farmers are impinging on their profits and those people are punished.  These same huge corporations are making us sick over and over.  Killing people as a result of our broken system without punishment.  While small farmers with excellent practices, just trying to grow good food, are punished without any recourse. 

I find myself appalled daily at what is happening in our 'free' country.  I wonder who can save us.  The democrats aren't doing it.  They want more laws.  Laws just restrict our freedom more.  We don't need laws, we need common sense and common decency.

The republicans aren't doing it.  They want more big business.  Those big corporations that are killing us.  They want the right to continue to destroy our earth without any thought to the future.  We don't need big business, we need more small businesses.  Small businesses that care about the people and the earth around them.

The only people that can change how things are run, are us.  We have to be the change.  We have to be the ones that say, I don't want what you're giving me.  I'm going to grow my own, make my own and find any way I can to get the healthy foods that my family needs.  Sadly, these days, that sometimes means breaking those laws.  The ones that were put in place to 'protect us'.  The ones that are in reality only there to keep us buying from the same big companies.  There is too much money to be made in keeping us dependent on the big companies.  There is too much money to be made selling us medications to fix our health issues caused by this food.  There is too much money to be made providing health care when those medications just make it worse.

You may feel insignificant.  You may feel like what you do doesn't matter.  It does matter and it is significant.  That is why the big companies are fighting so hard to pass laws to put the little guy out of business.  If what we did wasn't making a difference, they wouldn't care.

We all need to do our part.  Instead of leaving a few minutes early to get your coffee and breakfast, make it at home.  Learn to cook.  It might take a little bit longer, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be surprised at how much more time you have.   You will waste far more time going to a restaurant, or picking up take out, than making a healthy, from scratch meal.  The money you save can go towards buying the good stuff.  The grass fed meats, pasteured, local eggs will be within your reach when you aren't throwing away $50 on a meal of pizza and salads.

Grow your own.  You all know that this is my passion.  Start small.  Even if you only grow herbs in a pot, it's still something.  Add a little bit every year.  Get the rest of your veggies from local farmers.  Learn to eat with the seasons.  Buying strawberries in the middle of winter is not helping anyone.  When you only get asparagus in spring, it becomes a celebration.  Eat it until you're sick of it.  Then spend the rest of the year celebrating the things that are in season as they happen.

Food should be a celebration.  It should nourish every part of us.  We should all care as much about the food we eat as we do the shows on television, or the latest pocketbook.  If you're thinking that this is too overwhelming, I get that.  Start small.  Maybe stop buying breakfast and coffee and make your own at home.  Try buying your fruits and veggies at the farmer's market.  Make a new recipe that doesn't require opening a can of cream mushroom soup.  Better yet, learn how to make your own cream of mushroom soup.  When you do things in little steps, it isn't as overwhelming.  Don't expect perfection of anyone, much less yourself.  Just keep trying.  We can make a difference.  We just need to start.

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