Slow food, fast food, low carb living
byon 12-01-2009 at 05:42 PM (10230 Views)
As a child we always ate SLOW food. We lived on the farm, and my parents didn't have enough money to eat out much. Before we moved back to the farm to live with my great grandfather, we were living on college student pay-- 15 cents bought a lunch sized sack of McDonalds french fries so that was what we ate. By the time we moved back I suspect they were sick of junk food and happy to eat what we could grow.
The vegetables and fruits were amazing, and we raised our own beef and eggs and sometimes a chicken. We ate pheasant, quail, and deer when my parents were able to go hunting.
In those days, the supermarkets in our area stocked only the basics-- local produce in season only, and exotic fruits were oranges and sometimes pink grapefruit from South Texas, or bananas.
Ethnic foods just didn't appear and the only diet foods available were saccharine tablets or liquid saccharine drops.
If you were German, the Mennonite or Hutterite families in the area made sourkraut or pickles to sell at their church bazzars, and the big sausage feasts they threw were popular with everyone! The few Hispanic families in the area made their own tortillas or did without. Pasta was macaroni only. Egg noodles were homeade and spaghetti came in a can! The town my grandmother lived in had a Chinese restaurant-- and occasionally a diner might be owned by a Greek, or Italian, but the menu was strictly blue plate special.
Fast forward to the fast food era: I do live in a University town these days, and the food here is slightly more varied. There are about 500 Mexican restaurants, 3 Italian, 2 Greek, A couple of Tai, 40 Chinese, and a BAZILLIAN burger joints aka McDonalds, Burger King, etc. That and generic sports bar places.
Our "regular" grocery stores are stocked with exotic fruits and veggies from all around the world, in and out of season. Ethnic foods, health foods, and diet foods abound. Threre are at least 6 health food stores and a coop, and of course Walmart. I try to shop local stores, even if I know its a chain, just because I dislike Walmart so much. And then there is the INTERNET! Some people I know hate shopping so much they buy most of their groceries from Amazon. I started looking for low carb products and discovered an entire world of low carb stuff-- noodles, pastries, mixes, drinks, and more. I am torn between two conflicting desires: I really believe in the EAT LOCAL, EAT SLOW Food movement. I shop at the farmers market and buy local brands whenever possible. I want to buy some of those neat things I see on the internet, then I think of all the Gas and energy (high carbon footprint for sure) it takes to bring Milk here from some dairy coop in Wisconsin when I live within smelling distance of a New Mexico dairy!
I worry about buying produce from Sams club or the grocery store shipped in from overseas, while we have our own farmers here in the valley, who need to make a living too. I try to buy local even when it costs more, but sometimes that just doesn't work.
While working on the business plan for our own (hopefully soon) goat dairy and cheese making business I discovered that the demand for goat milk, cheese, and meat is high but the supply chain isn't established. Especially in New Mexico where towns can be anywhere from 50 too 200 miles apart-- everything has to be shipped long distances.
Most of the goat producers I found sell their products frozen or otherwise preserved on the internet. So, If we do go back into farming, we are going to have to ship or deliver our products long distances ourselves, or sell by internet too. Hmm. I will have to decide if the ability to offer wholesome, organic products with the need to use MORE gas/oil etc. to ship them.
For now, I usually just stick with what I can get locally. I can't afford the more unusual products (like the low carb noodles) in local stores and I definitely can't afford the expensive shipping to buy on internet. It reminds me of when my grandmother and I joined Weight Watchers in the early 70s. In our town, most of the foods on the program were not available. We mostly ate canned tuna that year, and lettuce with oil and vinegar, supplemented with local tomatoes. I am still iffy about tuna, lol. I think I almost turned into one.
Until we move back to the farm, I will continue to grow as many vegetables as I can in the back yard, and buy the rest at the farmers market or the small, locally owned grocery store. There was a huge local election fuss this fall --- one of the candidates proposed that back yard chickens be re=legalized in our area. The chicken poop was really flying over that one. Some areas even have covenants restricting gardens or natural landscaping, even in BACK yards!
It makes me laugh, because until the 80's we had a small homestead in our back yard right in town, even including ducks, chickens and a burro.
Why has simple living become so complicated?
Oh well, off to fix a low carb, local, slow dinner that does NOT include canned tuna.
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