I want to eat food, not scientifically created substances that stimulate my taste buds in a positive and mildly addictive manner. I want to be able to feed my family and pay my bills, not pay several agencies and vendors that don't know what the product we are dealing with is. I want to know what we are eating, not play 20 questions. I want what we intake to nourish our insides, not create a new income for the medical clinic.
Finding a way to get local food on a budget with limited time for acquiring is my mission.
Until about 100 years ago food procurement was our first priority. With the industrial revolution and the shift of the majority of our populations to major cities, we have created a culture that thinks of meals as a side bar, something that must be gotten out of the way so we can get on with more important things. To some, meals are a nuisance. Media works tirelessly to convince us that the faster and the tastier the substance the better it is for our happiness.
A major obstacle to eating food is cultural training.
We have become a world of sanitary efficiency with more illness and less time for living. Think of the people who are disgusted to consider where an egg or milk comes from. That cutting vegetables to make the family meal takes too much time is a digestive disorder in the creation.
We are also under attack from the "system" of food supply itself. I think we are all aware that industry is not looking out for public welfare. The bottom line for any large business is the bottom line in profits. Make more, cheaper, faster. That is good business in the market of today. It is more cost effective to make restitution than to make consistently high quality product. One only needs look up the lobbying dollars spent by major corporations to see that in detail. http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/index.php In 2008 Kraft spent over 3.5 million dollars in lobbying.
Enough about the bad stuff...the why is it important stuff...
What am I gonna do about it?
Shopping at the Farmer's Market is sometimes up to half the cost in many cases. An example is the Shitake mushrooms, At the Farmer's Market they are $7 a pound, at New Leaf they are $14.99 a pound. Plus the kids get to see and feel and often taste the other local farm products, as well as talk to the farmer about the product. We know it's in season and we can easily see where it came from.
Finding meat can be difficult. We want pasture raised organic meat. Though through research and disscusion I know that the Westside Farmer's Market has TLC Ranch which carries pork and eggs, they also sell Morris Ranch Beef. The Saratoga F.M. has Pacines Ranch chickens. though that is a bit of a drive, we buy several at a time, cut them up and freeze the portions, while making medicinal bone broth.
The trouble I'm having is finding local grains. I was really bummed when I found out that Gayles uses ConAgra flour. It shed a sad light on local bread and pasta for me.
The real solution is to grow as much of our own food as possible. A return to the kitchen garden and family flocks. After a disaster, food and water becomes the first concern. Imagine if we all had little gardens, a couple chickens, and maybe a dairy animal. How about a garden well? How much money would we save? How self sufficient would we feel? How about self worth? To provide for oneself and loved ones. Imagine the community feel. Neighborhoods discussing the raising of food and sharing the overabundance. Utopian or just around the corner? I need to work on this more, but what do you think?