I wrote in the past that I’ve been trying to shop the outside of the grocery store, meaning that I avoid processed foods and try to buy just raw ingredients. We’ve managed to do that in our household, so I think I’ve graduated to the next level: shopping outside the grocery store.
I’ve been reading Righteous Porkchop by Nicolette Niman.
Recognize that last name? She’s married to Bill Niman of Niman’s Ranch, purveyors of sustainable and natural meats. This book, like the last few I’ve read, has gotten me even more interested in good real food. Turns out that real food usually tends to be the most delicious. For example, here’s what I ate yesterday:
Breakfast: homemade granola from organic oats, walnuts, almonds, honey, molasses, and vanilla; organic milk; slice of homemade sourdough made from organic flour
Lunch: lentil soup made from raw dried lentils, organic celery and carrots from our CSA box, organic onion, herbs and seasoning; organic apple; (okay, fine, and some chocolate cake from an office birthday party)
Dinner: more lentil soup; more sourdough bread; organic salad from our CSA box; (and yes, a few Thin Mints, but those were bought to support Girl Scouts, so it’s at least good for some karma points)
Except for the desserts, it’s a pretty good showing, and completely and unintentionally vegetarian. Except for the milk it would’ve been vegan too.
My tastes have changed: I don’t want a plastic carton of chocolate chip cookies from the grocery store because they don’t’ taste as good as homemade and I can’t control the quality ingredients. I don’t want frozen pizza because homemade is 100% better. I don’t want store-bought bread.
And after reading Righteous Porkchop, I don’t want meat that wasn’t raised humanely and fed well. We don’t eat much meat, so when we do it ought to be good. I got excited this weekend when I found a small supplier nearby that sells free range chicken eggs. And by supplier I mean someone who has a chicken coop and supports sustainable community agriculture. And their price for eggs is $3.60/dozen, which beats my supermarket price for high-end free-range eggs, AND I get to actually see the chickens! Why am I so excited by this?
Because it’s real food.
Reading this book made me realize that if upon seeing where and how your food is raised your appetite is lost, something is horribly wrong. I know the name of the rancher who raises my beef. I know the family that grows my produce. Soon I’ll be able to see the chickens that give me eggs. Funny, this is a novelty today where it was commonplace a century ago.
There’s no going back. Now that my eyes have opened, I wouldn’t want to go back.