Wednesday, December 31, 2008

White food

Recently we were given some store-bought eggs. Yesterday I was baking cookies and pulled the carton of eggs out of the fridge. As I opened it I heard a gasp, and turned to see The Princess with wide eyes, up on tiptoe, saying, "They're SO white! They're completely white!"

It had not occurred to me that she might not have seen white eggs. I suppose the last time we didn't have our own laying hens was almost four years ago, when she was just 3, and even then I usually bought brown eggs.

This reminded me of this past summer, when we had used up all our chickens in the freezer, and I bought some breast meat at the grocery store. Farmer Boy came into the kitchen, looked at it, raw, on a tray waiting to go into the oven, and said "What is THAT?!" He actually did not recognize it as chicken meat. When I told him it was chicken he said, "It's so... white!" Later, when asked for his thoughts, pronounced it, "Gross." He said the texture was what really bothered him. "Sort of slimes down your throat... blech" was the best he could describe the texture. This is the boy whose eyes light up when he hears the word "tongue". Not a picky eater.

Now let me clarify that he ate it (that comment notwithstanding, he is a polite boy), and was not criticizing the cooking. But he could distinguish the vast difference between home-grown chicken and factory-farmed chicken. And he was not impressed.

For Stephen and me, coming from a non-farming background, we have had a similar reaction, but different in its emphasis. Our kids have been surprised by how bland factory food is. We have been amazed by how delicious fresh food is. Animals grown in healthy environments produce tastier eggs and meat. It is that simple.

Veggies just picked from the garden glow with color and flavor. Bread made with freshly ground wheat is tender and moist. Last summer Stephen was the caretaker of a goat dairy farm for a few weeks. He is not normally a milk drinker, but he guzzled that fresh milk!

Because I cook mostly from scratch, I find my taste is now more sensitive to artificial ingredients. It is surprising how few ingredients are needed in a recipe when each ingredient is bursting with flavor because it is fresh.

Obviously this can be expanded almost indefinitely. In the final analysis, the way God made it is the way it is best enjoyed, and best for you.

Fewer and fresher ingredients in our food, our homes, our relationships...

1 comment:

tinylittlemama said...

I concur! If we just ate the food the way God made it we'd all be happier, healthier, and actually enjoy the food more! We also wouldn't be struggling with a myriad of man-made environmental issues.