October 20, 2011

Real Food Uproar

There are times I have bared my soul on this blog...and heard nothing.

Then, when I wrote about Hypocritical Women, I got a smattering of response...

When I wrote about How Not To Spend Your Winter, I got a few chuckles...

When I wrote about Making a Run For It, several of you offered your support...

When I wrote about my touring experience with Adele, you were amazed...

(OK, I never wrote about that but it'd make a fan-TAB-u-lous post, now wouldn't it? If it happened, that is. But it didn't. *sigh*)

But when I wrote Saving Money...At What Cost and talked about my struggle to feed healthy food to my family...Wow!  I was blown away by the all responses I got via comments and emails. I was encouraged to find that so many of us are on the same page, as far as wanting to eat healthy and provide healthy meals for our families.  It seems there are several things that we agree on:

1. We are all frustrated with how expensive real, healthy food is.

2. An increasing amount of us find fast food disgusting.

3. More of us are learning to garden, cook/bake from scratch and are eating at home more often.

4. No one really knows what a "Mac Stick" is - it still remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of the universe.

5. As much as we want to support farmer's markets, we have a hard time understanding their high prices and fitting it into our budget.  Co-ops are an option but often do not offer what we can really use or are interested in.

6. We have more reasons than ever to pray over our food.
After reading through all of the comments and responses, I definitely see some positives coming out of this 'food crisis'.  For starters, we are slowing down to think more about what we are putting into our bodies.  Yes, a majority of us are still going to grab that Snickers bar once in a while but it is becoming more of the exception rather than the rule.  And we are finding creative ways to eat healthy, whether it is while we are on the run, on our lunch break at work, or around the dinner table at home.  

Which brings me to one of the most important changes: more of us are eating at home.  Around the dinner table  - with our kids. Studies show that families that eat supper together 3 or more times a week do better in school, have better social skills and have fewer issues with drugs and alcohol. (Can I get a "Thank you, Lord!"?)

Also, there are options out there. But it will take some digging.  And some time. And a little ingenuity.  We need to educate ourselves, ask questions and find the answers and solutions that will work for us. The key is to not give up! We'll probably make some mistakes along the way and get frustrated at times (ok, a lot) but we can do it.  I know we can.

And, finally, more of us are not only learning to cook (not just microwave or re-heat) but also grow our own food.  We are even learning to can - a skill that seemed to be going out of style faster than typewriters and cassette tapes.  For those of us that are developing this skill, we are discovering how good it feels to work hard at something that will provide for our families for months, and even years, down the road.  And the more food that we provide on our own - from our own backyards, the less energy and resources that will be wasted transporting foodstuffs from halfway across the country.

So, once again, necessity is the mother of invention.  Or in this case, re-invention.  Just like any other generation that has gone through hard times, we are learning to go back to the basics.  We are stepping back from the wasteful and unnecessary and prioritizing what is really important: which in this case means giving up convenience but choosing options that will be healthier for our families physically and, possibly, even mentally and spiritually.

I don't have any more easy answers to this conundrum than I did when I wrote my original post but I learned a few things that will help me along the way. I am encouraged that I am not traveling this path alone and I am hopeful that we will make positive changes, individually, as well as a community, to provide better options for our children...and our children's children.

I also want to thank everyone that contributed or suggested resources to me.  I am still working through them but really like what I have seen so far and want to pass them along for anyone else interested. I hope you find them helpful. So here they are:

  • The movie "Food Matters" - already in my Netflix queue!
  • 100 Days of Real Food - A blog about healthy food for real people; lots of recipes and encouragement.  I look forward to reading more of this.
  • Connecting Farm to Fork - Games and Activities, etc for the kiddos. Might be a great resource especially for teachers and home-schoolers - or even those in Scouting!
  • Feed Stuffs Food Link - provides news, information and analysis on the agriculture/food sector and how it relates to you as a consumer.
Stories and Recipes of the Great Depression of the 1930's and More From Your Kitchen Today 
    This is the first of a series of five books - I think it is definitely worth looking into.  It should provide a lot of inspiration for us trying to find ways to be more frugal yet still be creative!

    On another positive note: Last week, my middle son, Isaac, was chosen to represent his 7th grade class during the state's annual school accreditation tour. He was interviewed by state education representatives and asked several questions about the school environment, process, and performance. When he was asked what his school needed to improve on, his answer was that "they needed to provide healthier lunches."  Woot! - that's my boy!  I was so proud.

    One voice, one seed planted - that's all it takes to start a (food) revolution.

    That's it. That's what I know.  Not earth shattering, yet productive.  I am glad we've started this discussion and I know that it will come up here again - and probably soon. We've got to make better choices. And we can - one day, and one meal, at a time.

    Be Brave!

    Heads up: this post includes affiliate links but nothing that will steal your brain or your credit card information. Promise.

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    Thanks for reading my blog. I would love to hear your comments - they encourage me so much!