Monday, April 16, 2012

A Blog Worth Your Time

Hello Folks. I'm so sorry that the last couple of posts were so light. Things are finally calming down & I finally have time (for now) to get back to work. And with this new home, we certainly have work to do.

As I mentioned before, our new home means a new chapter in our lives. And that calls for a revamp of what we eat. I've teased it for awhile now, but I'm finally going to write about my journey into what's in my kitchen.
New hangout spot on nights my husband cooks
It first began with some documentaries. If you haven't noticed, I. Love. Food. Documentaries. Back in college I saw a few dedicated to fast food: "Fast Food Nation," "Supersize Me," etc. And that inspired me to shy away from the worst offenders *cough*McDonalds*cough*. But it wasn't until the past year that I realized cutting down on fast food isn't enough.

And that's when I wrote my first food entry dedicated to "Food, Inc." Looking back I feel so hypocritical because while we increased our trip to the Farmers Market & local butcher, produce didn't last too long & the meat was a 50/50 chance of getting beef from America... or Australia?

But that's changing. I'm so happy to announce for the first time, I was able to get my hands on our first co-op beef order from a local farm. These cows were raised in Western Kentucky, ate grass, and lived happy little cow lives before becoming my dinner. And you can taste the difference. You really can.
25 lbs of beef featured in a new freezer
Now these cuts of meat are glorious for multiple reasons:
- It's local business
- Since it's local, there's less travel = smaller carbon footprint
- Healthy, Happy Cows. Seriously, this matters. Go back to my first food blog if you have questions.
- We now don't have to worry about buying beef for awhile.
- It's going to force me to cook more. Less eating out.

And thankfully I'm lucky enough to start getting into co-op produce. If you can invest, I highly recommend getting into co-op-ing with a group. Really, thanks to buying the beef with 3 other families, we got a deal of $4 a pound. That's including Sirloin & New York Strip. We are also working with an Amish farmer (who has delicious Amish butter) & a few other local benefits to add to my kitchen.

After watching numerous documentaries, reading blog after blog, skimming through studies, I think I've found my path to our diet: local & natural. Local normally means organic & less transportation which is nice and green. It's also only the real way that I can fight against super farm companies that really don't care about their produce... or consumers for that matter.
Something tells me I'm not going to have to worry about that for awhile
As for the natural, that's when it becomes a bit more controversial. I feel it's a lot healthier for me to eat a burger with beef from local, grass fed, happy cows that may contain a little more fat verses a burger that is from a stressed out cow in a crowded, dirty slaughterhouse with a mixture of leaner "pink slime." Just saying. For decades we've been told less fat = healthy.

But is it really natural for us as an animal to eat this manufactured, leaner food?

I argue that's not the case. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to go ahead a fill your arteries with cholesterol & fat. But for one, we need some fat in our diet. The cells that make up every part of our bodies needs fat.  Our highly evolved intelligence is thanks to our prehistoric ancestors' diet of meats.

But then there's the argument of which kind of fat & cholesterol are best. We're told saturated fat is the worst, and we are just now learning the mistake of eating trans fat (which normally comes from man-made products, mind you). Well, thanks to some great sources like The Healthy Home Economist, Raw Milk Facts, and Cholesterol & Health, I feel better about drinking my two percent (one day raw, whole) milk. I HIGHLY suggest that you read from each of those sources and make your own opinion. Higher fat sources like milk & beef provide a key source of nutrients. Fat & cholesterol are an important part to a healthy diet. Key word part. But at the same time, I need cut down from drinking 5 glasses of milk then having red meat in every meal. Including veggies & fruits while getting up and moving more are essential to a healthier, happier you.

Speaking of things that are not meat, we are also making a few changes to our spice cabinet. We already replaced granulated sugar with raw cane sugar . I hope to try some recipes that call for white, bleached flour with more-natural alternatives like oat flour. I may even replace most of my pam uses with things like coconut oil. I want to get rid of atrocities like polyunsaturated fats that are in margarine & vegetable oil.

When it gets down to it, I want to eat what my ancestors ate. That includes nutrient filled meat, produce & herbs without oddities like soda & artificial flavoring. I want to get back to my roots. And if we're getting technical, I'm Swedish, Irish, British (with rumors of Scottish & German), so there has to be something tasty to enjoy. But I guess that means I need to eat more fish. Ha.

I've also been making my way through "French Women Don't Get Fat." Which makes some great points that seem like they should be common sense. It's so sad that many of us (including me) lost the way of taking time to enjoy food, the joy of cooking food, eating at the table, and including small, but various sides to your meal. I've lost about 10 pounds compared to last year by making slow, healthy changes to eating. It's not about forcing yourself on a diet, it's about finding a happier and healthier way to live, laugh & love... and eat.

With that being said, I plan to open up more about our food adventures. And I hope that at least someone can take note of learning to get crunchy with food while living in an average place. Only 25,000 people live in our city. It's simple. There's no Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, even Target (hardest part of living here). But thanks to great co-op groups and farmers markets, we are living to get by without the Super Walmart. And I hope to show you how to do the same over time.

Since this all I seem to talk about today is food,  I wanted to share that I'll have another delicious wild card recipe next week. We'll get back to arts & crafts sooner or later...

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