Why I do what I do

Okay, so my recipes and instructions can be fun and entertaining to read through… this one probably not so much.  Here’s the thing — I have people ask me “WHY??”  Why do I spend my $$ on this or that or the other as opposed to that delicious sugar filled box of cereal that I could get so much cheaper?  What exactly IS wrong with indulging in cute little lava filled pockets of pizza-y goodness or hitting up a drive-thru a few times a week?  It’s cheap and as a world, we all seem low on time.

Let me start with:  you do you.

I’m not going to lecture here, and I’m not going to preach, and I’m not going to try to change your mind.  I honestly figure Darwin was on to something and it’s not my business to interfere.  What I am going to do is answer all those questions I always get about things why I’m willing to pay more per pound for my grass-fed beef over grain-fed beef.  I’m going to answer the questions I get about the differences between non-GMO and organic and why one is okay in one instance but really, organic means more in another instance.

And my response to the biggest one of all (that is the most common thing I hear EVER), “Well, I can’t afford organic food!”  Really.  My response is always, “Do you buy chips?  How much do you pay for a bag of chips?”  Get answer.  Reply with how much I pay for a 3-5 pound bag of organic potatoes, which is *significantly* less than that 13 oz bag of chips, pound for pound.  Sodas are the same thing.  There’s really nothing you can swap out soda-wise for organic.  All sodas, even the ones made with cane sugar, are nothing more than liquid candy that make your body steal minerals from itself in order to process it.  But if you’re willing to spend money on sodas, then you have money to make the best decisions you can for yourself and your family.  It’s a choice.  Sometimes a difficult one because, really… soda and chips hit all of our human high spots for taste and cravings.  Which is why the other person’s response to my chip/potato answer is inevitably an eye roll and a walk away.

Do you need to make these choices?  Nope.  Like I said, you do you.  This section is all about WHY I do me.  To warn y’all in advance, I’m wordy.  These will be long.  There likely won’t be any pictures to break the monotony.  I will be presenting some of the research I’ve done in the last 20 years which will help explain why I disdain the middle aisles of the grocery, why I drive 25 minutes from my home to purchase meat from a local processor that only does pastured critters — passing up numerous grocery stores within a 5 minute drive of my house, unless said grocery carries organic alternatives which aren’t as great of a choice as pastured, but still doable.  Why I’ve opted for raw milk over no milk or store milk.  Why I propagate and play with tiny little bacteria and yeasty creatures in my kitchen.  Why I, as a 45 year old woman, keep my coffee consumption to a dull roar these days and try to avoid sugar and starchy carbs as much as humanly possible.  Except cake.  Chocolate cake gets a pass.  😉  Each topic will have its own category, so if there’s something you actually are interested in, you can go right to that topic without having to wade through a ridiculous amount of malarkey to find what you want.

Here’s the thing though — with as much as I know (and learn more every day), with as much as I want to be perfect in my family’s eating habits — life is not perfect.  Unless you are having an immediate health crisis (been there, done that), sticking to eating as perfectly as possible in this modern world of ours is… difficult.  Sometimes you just want to call up your local pizza place and have food delivered right to your door.  So, do it.  Not every day, not every week, but don’t fret over it.  It’s there.  It’s available.  And you’re TIRED today.  Start with trying to aim for an 80/20 ratio:  80% good clean food to 20% crap.  Work your way up.  I run at about a 90-95 (was at 100% for a good 2 years), but I have experienced that health crisis thing so it’s a bit easier to say, “nah, I’m good.”  My immediate family (hubby and kids), not so much.  I’d like to say my husband is probably at around 70/30 only because he eats what I make; however, he works a lot, and ridiculous hours at that… but the kids?  They’re older.  They’re in charge of a lot of their own food choices outside the home.  I will say they do try to make the best choice they can depending on the situation they’re in, and they are absolutely aware of their choices.  Unfortunately, outside of home cooking there simply aren’t that many viable options around here for making a great choice.

Point is, you do what you can where you can.  But don’t sweat it if you really, really want that cheeseburger and local craft beer from your favorite corner bar.  Tomorrow’s a new day, and now you’re no longer obsessing over that cheeseburger so yeah, maybe a kefir smoothie for breakfast and a lovely plate of curried shrimp and vegetables for dinner will hit the spot tomorrow.  Life’s way too short to have a panic attack because that burger wasn’t grass-fed and that beer was loaded with carbs.

I would honestly love to see the day in my lifetime that the same kinds of foods that were available to my grandparents made a come-back in today’s world.  They didn’t have to worry about crap like GMOs and where their eggs came from.  Whether their tomatoes were heavily sprayed… and how exactly do you pronounce THAT ingredient?  Buying “organic” wasn’t a thing because large companies hadn’t yet gotten around to making huge profits on the backs of public health.  Well, except maybe that ketchup thing way back when, but, once again, bottled and a company making a profit at whatever cost.  When “cereal” was a whole food that was soaked overnight and cooked in the morning and not just one big sugar poof with some unknown color dye.  I don’t want to go back to the “good ol’ days,” because, frankly, I like indoor plumbing and not having to behead and pluck my own chickens.  I just want these mega-corporations to stop poisoning our food and water supply.  I want our soil to be replenished with the nutrients needed to grow healthy plants, which makes for healthier animals, and healthier humans.  I want to world to stop being a malnourished population with an over abundance of “food.”

*sigh*  Wish in one hand…

I have found that food choices are very much like a religious belief.  No one wants to believe what they’re eating or doing could be so wrong that it’s slowly killing them, because they LIKE it.  Can’t be wrong if you LIKE it, right?  And the human brain has this amazing ability to justify and rationalize anything just to make itself right.  I’m cool with that.  It’s not my business.  I don’t talk to anyone about this stuff unless they specifically ask me.  And even then I keep it to the specific questions.  And don’t try to convince them that this is the one-true-food-god way of doing things — because who knows?, maybe it’s not.  Here’s the thing — I could wake up tomorrow and find out that Cheetohs and Hot Pockets are the way to go — that they have absolutely every necessary bio-available vitamin and mineral needed by the human body and I was WRONG in my thought that the evolutionary process down through the ages made us this way because we needed all natural food products that came directly from Mother Earth to nourish us.  That denatured processed foods are the pillar to good health.  It’s cool.  Granted, I would have to research this claim ad-nauseam, but cheetohs as a healthy, nourishing food is an intriguing concept.  I don’t have to be right, I just have to do the best I can with the information I have.

Still with me?  Why?  Are you really *that* bored?  Well, carry on then.  I have a lot of these topics to cover and each one can be a lengthy read (and write for me).  If you don’t see the one you’re looking for yet, keep checking back.  I have a LOT rattling around in that little pea brain of mine so you’ll never really run out of bathroom reading 😀  They just take time to write.

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