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The Unseen Luxury of Food

February 10, 2015

800px-Cherry_sweet_frutsWith millions of people around the globe facing food issues, the idea that food is a luxury is absurd. We all eat. We all are entitled to food choices. Right?

So why do so many settle? Why is it that with multiple grocery outlets in many towns and cities, there are those who walk in and say “there’s no FOOD here”? That, too, is absurd. It’s, perhaps, not the food you would choose, but for hundreds of other shoppers it is food.

Food issues are in the media. GMO. NonGMO. Gluten free. Vegan. Chemicals in food. Recalls of food. Eat this not that. Try this diet. Here’s the latest “superfood” and don’t eat these because they’re poison (even though many people eat them without any adverse reaction!). In the farm blog today I looked at one point of this.

We are spoiled. We have the luxury of sitting at a corporate made computer or device, using technology from a corporate owned provider to protest corporations that serve agriculture to produce our food. Society folks wring their hands and post “why can’t we be like <whatever country>” – maybe because whatever country has under 10 million people and we have 310million people – who moves out?

800px-Chicken_packaging00Maybe because we have food experts who define what is food, and what is fit to feed only to dogs as they wrinkle their noses ala Jamie Oliver style. Maybe because, unlike some countries and unlike our grandparents (whom we are to eat like they did!) we don’t want the whole animal but only some cuts. Prime cuts, not all but the moo/squeal.

Not the boneless, skinless chicken breasts but also the gizzards, liver, feet, head and bones for broth. Not the snack picked up at the convenience store where you got fuel this afternoon but – well if you didn’t make it there isn’t one!

We are spoiled. The majority of Americans are not stressing about seeds, chicks, breeding, calving, lambing, farrowing, weather, equipment and a thousand other decisions that will set the tone for our year. I have gotten a couple of calls from folks – one picked up, one arranged for next month – to get fertilizer (rabbit compost/manure) for their gardens. For most folks, if they have a garden it is to provide for summer and fall eating, sometimes canning or preserving for the rest of the year. Most do not live *just* on what they grow in the garden. Most do not have 3-4-6-10 months of food available in their homes right now…why? Because of storage and because it’s at the store! We don’t have to do that because we have a bountiful supply.

Joris_van_Son_Früchtestillleben_mit_NautilusmuschelThat is luxury. Hundreds of millions of people are free from the “drudgery” of producing their own food. They don’t spend two months per year canning, freezing, dehydrating, preserving – because someone else does it for them, and delivers it to a store ready to eat or ready to cook and eat. Luxury! Many do not even cook their own food – they eat at restaurants where someone else cooks, and cleans up afterwards and all they have to do is sit down and eat.

We are blessed beyond the imagination and realization of most with the food available in America. What would we do if it was all gone tomorrow? What would we do if there was no choice in what we ate but it was doled out as “this is what you get”?

May we never find out. May we be spoiled and not have to find those ancient cookbooks that told of cooking chicken feet, cattails and foraged roots. Many folks wouldn’t know where to look!

Blessed abundance. Let’s not take it for granted.

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