Eating is one of my favorite things to do. I love to go to restaurants, try to cook, read through cookbooks, taste new recipes, etc. Since I love eating so much, I am constatntly trying to eat healthier as well as cook healthier food for my family. It is the constant struggle of a foodie who really wants to be, if not thin (okay, I really want to be thin!) then at least healthy. But of course this takes on a whole new dimension when we begin to look at eating from another view, the view that we really can't accomplish this goal in any form if we continue to eat from the supermarket. This isn't healthy for our bodies, our minds or our souls. I was always sort of aware of this, but refused to face it because of the convenience grocery stores offer. However, after a recent family gathering, my sister tossed aside my blinders with a few short comments. Explaining why she went vegetarian first, and then eventually vegan. she gave just a few examples of the unnecsessary torture animals recieve at factory farms. She was truly not evangalizing, just explaining her point of view as to how and why she came to this vegan lifestyle.
This was the catalyst my lazy soul needed to investigate. After some time spent looking through the many sites that are posted on line I came across this article at thee Huffington Post, Avoiding Factory Farms. What I like most about this article is the practical advide given by Ms. Niman. It helps to know that this is a process and not something that should be taken as a huge step.
Taking her advice I have begun to research and ask for suggestions for finding CSA's, Community Supported Agriculure.
Wow! What a lot of great people are already moving in this direction or are already there. I am so excited to begin investigating this for so many reasons:
1. My children will no longer get all of the junk that is put in meats and vegetables. (Hooray, maybe my daughter won't get her period at nine! Long live childhood.)
2. I will be challenged to find recipes that are based on season vegetables, but the vegetables will be fresh, and once again free of all of the chemicals that I have been given my children.
3. I will be supporting local farmers and hopefully stopping yet another development from taking over the farmland. (This, by the way, is what got my husband on board.)
4. I will no longer be supporting a system that not only likes to load our food up with chemicals, but just in case we missed ingesting them, tosses it out to the air as well.
5. I will no longer be supporting the absolutely disgusting treatment of animals.
Now, I have to qualify the last one, because anyone who knows me knows that I am not exactly an animal lover. The truth is I prefer them in pictures. I know, it makes me somewhat less of a person but I just have enough trouble keeping my house clean without worrying that it smells like dog, or worse yet wet dog. And I don't find it cute when they go out and roll in something disgusting and then bring that stench and whatever is creating that stench into my house. My children lay on that floor. Just not that earthy. However, after listening to my sister, and reading online the absolute horrors of what happens in this farm it made me want to go home and hug my dog. It also made me realize the full responsibility we have in keeping this world a healthy place for those who have no power. I include in this category children, plants, animals and anyone who doesn't have the means, financial or intellectual to truly control their environment. Sometimes this includes me. Sometimes it doesn't. When it comes to having control over what food system I choose to support, it doesn't.
So here is the list of resources I am checking out to begin my new adventure ino healthier eating:
Myerov Family Market
I like the work option one on this one and am planning to go to Perkasie to visit the actual farm. I also like the idea that I can pick up my groceries once a week. However, my husband has no intentions of going vegetarian so I would need to supplement this with some other CSA that included meat as well as eggs and dairy.
Lancaster Farm Fresh
This was recommended by two different people so it is worth checking out. I am having trouble figuring out the portions. I do admit, even after what I stated as a challenge, I am worried about trying to cook all of this fresh food. Do I really want to eat radishes and mushrooms in June? I don't even like mushrooms.
This is a brand new coop so I could get in on the ground floor so to speak. Additionally they are holding a Farmer's Market on Sunday that is open to everyone. I am planning on attending this week to investigate what will actually be available, why I should join if they are going to continue to have the coop and what the prices will be like.
I'll post pics and my thoughts in a future post.