Monday, July 11, 2011

Food is a religion

I think that pretty much everyone has their own personal food religion.  Your pinnacle of how people should feel about/eat/think about food.  Big note: I am not trying to convert anyone to my religion.  So here is my basic approach to how I want to be eating.  My ideals.  The tenets that provoke my guilt when I fail to meet them.

First: eat local and seasonal.  To me, if you are eating what is in season and grows where you live... you'll do fine.  People survived eating the local stuff for a long time and I think that's a good basis.  But I'm a spoiled brat who lives in an area with the best damn food in the world.  Privilege much?

Second: I try for organic and/or grass/pasture raised.  My chickens shouldn't be vegetarians and my cows shouldn't eat corn.  I have some stupid bias that the food I eat will be healthier for me if it had the best life possible.  However from what I understand it isn't actually possible for everyone on the planet to eat "organic" produce.  So, err... yeah.  Not sure how I feel about that.

Third: I try to avoid processed food.  But I also try to not beat myself up for eating some.  It's a balancing act.  Processed food usually means less work for me.  I'm usually skimping on work because I am out of spoons.  (I'm sorry for co-opting that terminology given that I don't like using it given that I am able-bodied.  But I'm specifically using it in a mental health way so uhm... I'm not sure how else to phrase it.)

Fourth: I'm trying to grow food.  I want to get to a point where I am raising and preserving a reasonable percentage of our produce (like 25% would be AWESOME).  I'm thinking that I might shoot for reaching that by the time that Shanna is 15. Obviously I am not taking this gardening thing real seriously.

So part of the reason that I'm writing this is because I read books on urban homesteading and I find them terribly inspirational.  Or rather, I find them terribly guilt inducing.  I have all the time and ability in the world to really pursue this as a lifestyle choice.  So why don't I?  Well... honestly... it's a lot of work.  And I'm kind of busy.  And it is way down there in fourth place on my food priority list and food is way down at like spot number fifteen on my personal life priority list so... yeah.  I just don't care.


Want to know why I'm doing this much gardening?  Because I'm trying to find ways to learn about new interesting things without having to interact with other people.  Because I'm trying to find hobbies that make me feel good about being a creepy shut in.  Because it's a G-D science experiment!  I don't know any of this stuff about plant lives.  It's really awesome.

Because I'm an unschooler and I want to take this opportunity to learn about life.  This may not be the way that someone else thinks I should learn this topic, after all I could do it way more efficiently if I took a class on gardening.  But I now have a very good idea of why I shouldn't plant my tomatoes so close together.  I'm trying to decide how I want to resolve my current gardening conundrums.

Have I mentioned that my garden is rad?

tomato patch of doom

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