Eating isn’t easy: But it should be
So if you’ve been following me on the Facebook or Instagram I’m sorry for all the hash tag clean eating photos. Well I’m not actually sorry; I hope you have found some ideas to cook at home as well.
So I started this eating home cooked meals thing because well; I am on a very thin budget and my love for restaurants and bakeries had to take a backseat for a little while. As I started this journey I figured I’d share my photos and try to write more recipes for them as well. So that’s the backstory of where all the #eatclean posts came from. Now for the stuff you’ll want to argue with me about.
Recently I have had the opportunity to work with my hands on a local farm with a family I know and respect. The trip to the farm is short and sweet, it’s a brisk 13 miles from my front door about a 15 minute drive. Why is that important? Because I live in a place where that kind of fresh food is available just 15 minutes away. Quite often these fine folks are at farmer’s markets just down the street from my house. I realize that is not the case in many cities throughout the United States, in fact there are places in America that people are starving and have no idea what farm fresh spinach looks like. To me that’s a big problem, that is insane! How can we live in what people argue to be the “greatest country” in the world yet we have neighbors, friends, family, and community members that are starving? In order for me to really elaborate on this point we have to look to our American History, luckily we don’t have to travel to far back to find some points of interest. Let’s start in the 1930’s, an era of American History often remembered for the “Great Depression,” a time in America where the unemployment rate hit its high at 23% in 1932, in the following years leading to up to America’s participation in World War II the very disputable number of deaths related to famine were 7 million Americans. Yes this is a staggering number. But compare it to an even more staggering number, 90 million Americans in 2016 are obese. Now this is as a much an opposite argument as I can come up with. Now this doesn’t mean that 90 million people are dying from starvation or even suffering from that. But what it means is there is a severe breakdown in our food system. It is easily arguable that more than 7 million Americans are dying from food annually.
So how did we get here? How is it that we still have food insecure Americans alongside severely obese Americans? In my humble opinion it comes down to how we are eating and the food that is available to those Americans that are suffering through poverty. Did you know that in America we produced almost 719 trillion calories per day? That is a huge number of calories. Shit, okay back on track what’s my point? Come on Andrew get to it already…
So what it comes back to for me is how we educate and how we provide for one another, yes I know I am starting to sound like a dirty socialist, take care of our neighbors, live happily together share your food with a starving child. I know I am the worst. If you seriously think that taking care of our communities is a crazy thought you should really consider that statement. Nonetheless, in today’s America you can buy 2 “Big Macs” for $5. TWO BIG MACs for FIVE DOLLARS! But in the same day you can not buy 2 “organic” apples for that price. That is insane. What does that say about the fast food we are consuming? What does that mean to the community members that need help the most? It means you won’t starve but you will get sick, if you have a diet of what is “affordable” then odds are you may find yourself in an obese state of living. Fast food is full of crap that ruins our bodies, that negatively affects our mental state of being. I’m not saying that all our problems in society lead back to food, but come on let’s at least look at it. Let us imagine a society where we all have access to fresh food, we all know how to prepare that fresh food, and there is enough for everyone to eat it. The cost of health care would drop, our kids would know what fresh spinach tastes like, and our farms would be bolstered with increased funding to make even better options available.
Now, I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to eating shit food. But I had to make a change to my diet based on not only my income but also my health and weight concerns. In just over 21 days of eating home cooked meals, I saved $175.00 and lost 20 pounds. Yes I am lucky, I am armed with the knowledge of cooking, I grew up on a farm where all we had was home cooked from the garden, caught from the creek, and hunted in the woods. I don’t subscribe to any specific diet, I’m not a paleo eater, nor do I believe in the “organic” stamp. I do believe in education, nutrition for everyone, and sharing fresh food. I do believe that we can become a healthier society if we educate our community members on how to cook that beautiful fresh spinach, I do believe if given the opportunity to cook at home society would fall in love with food all over again. Each year I grow my own garden, this year I’ve taken it to the next level, instead of a giant green lawn I’ve added a big raised bed for fresh vegetables, I’ll pickle my own okra, I’ll make my own tomato sauce and can it, I’ll share the excess produce with my neighbors. I am committed to being an example of what we can do together. So I’ll continue to share my recipes, my food adventures, and my ramblings of why the organic stamp is a sham.
If you made it this far; thank you. You’re beautiful, you’re wonderful just the way you are. If you want some suggestions on how to cook something shoot me an email. I love y’all just the way you are. Thank you for reading. All the best and happy cooking.