Saturday, July 3, 2010

Where I Yammer On and On Once Again About my Current Obsession: Food

I have a hunch that most people's introspection and subsequent personal food revolution begins with buying organic produce. Odd. Mine began with trying to recondition my brain to stop thinking that low-fat meant healthy and to stay out of the middle aisles at the grocery store... all because, you guessed it, I read a book. This book was from Ryan's parents called the Schwarzbein Principle. I do believe it was actually my very first food book.

I have to admit that I wouldn't be too shocked if that (the no low-fat and stay out of the middle aisles) wasn't even one of her main or even major points of the book... I have been known to remember some rather strange side facts of things. For example, my parents took my sisters and I up and down the east coast when I was seven (maybe? quite possibly younger) and did all kinds of major fancy pants tours (Statue of Liberty, Vanderbilts, etc)... all I remember is my Great Aunt throwing her dog a birthday party, a stranger offering me a mustard pretzel on what I know realize was a ferry boat, and playing flutter ponies in her bathroom. I was a strange child. So anyway... my food revolution.

The more I learn the more I realize I have to learn. At first Ryan and I talked about getting a little place somewhere in the woods and making it a self-sufficient home--think energy-wise, off the grid type thing. And of course, there hasn't been a VanderJagt yet that has done anything small... so I thought, well hmm, if we're going to live off the grid we should probably be able to provide our own food. Which then made me ask what kind of food we should be providing for ourselves... a vegetable garden is one thing, but what about meat? milk? fruit? breads? fats/oils? Sugars? That is all sending me down this gigantic black hole trying to figure out how to make the best choices for my family. Answers have come: Meat should be grass-fed meat as natural as possible. Milk should be as natural as possible; organic raw. Produce should be as natural as possible; homegrown... or from a CSA/farm market (to support local farmers that have great growing practices). Breads should be whole grains (like white whole wheat or whole wheat). I think I have some of the major umbrella categories nailed down. Still figuring out the fats/oils and sugars thing. I hopefully won't die clutching my beloved Cherry Coke. Hopefully that will eventually be a thing of the past.

All of this... yet I think its rather amusing that I haven't felt the urge to know about or buy anything from the supermarket that is organic. I think its because buying organic is not my end goal. My end goal is to either grow it or buy it from a farmer (which I don't associate with anything but organic)... and then put it up for the winter. A friend was talking about the "Dirty Dozen" fruits and vegetables that you really should buy as organic because of how many pesticides are in each serving. (really, its shocking.) I just had to shake my head because it was the first I'd ever heard of it. I'm not sure why (and I know its not fair) but I assume that buying organic is on a certain level of crazy. Funny... I am signing up for raw milk this week and picking up my first ever tub of LARD. That is not crazy to me; someone buying organic is. Lets all chuckle at Nancy's logic. I should probably cut that out.

Speaking of raw milk and lard. The farm is literally about ten minutes from my house. I do believe that is rare for someone who is actually interested in raw milk to be in such close proximity to the raw milk farm. They are certified organic and when I was given the tour around she offered me a free half gallon to take home and have Ryan try. I was a little nervous about being that close to raw milk and actually drinking it in front of her and in the process possibly making a weird face...and therefore probably said something embarrassing to her. I sometimes make myself rather awkward for no good reason. I had put "find a good source (non-hydrogenated) for lard" on my list so thought I'd ask her if they sold any. So when I go back on Wednesday I'm going to come back with both our first glass bottle of milk AND some lard. Seriously, before you freak out that we're all going to die of heart failure, do a little research (even some quick browsing through google on "benefits of natural fats"). THEN we'll talk.

What would a rant from Nancy be without a plethora of disclaimers? I want to make good choices, but I also don't want people to feel intimidated if they offer my kid a snicker bar. (Psh, or me! Pass that snicker bar over here!) Balance. I hope Aayla doesn't grow up to only offer her family processed foods because she is swinging so far left because I swung so far right. Everything in moderation, even in deciding to make better choices. (wow, that is not applicable across the board though.)

And just so you all understand: gardening is part of the broader food topic for me. The food topic is part of the broader topic of self-sufficient living. Self-sufficient living is part of "living with Ryan happily ever after."  So I know that it may seem that I'm obsessed with different things and then move on to something else, but really, its all with a goal in mind; bliss with my love.

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