Friday, November 27, 2009

Making Food

Even with the year's biggest food holiday behind us, I'm still focused on food. Always. I watched Food, Inc. earlier this week and was not shocked by the revelations of Big Business producing 95+ percent of our meat, but I was nauseated by the disregard the industry seems to have for our health.

One of the more disgusting things I learned from this movie: a corn-fed cow has far more bacteria in its gut than a grass-fed cow. If you started feeding grass to a corn-fed cow, bacteria levels in the cow's stomachs would return to more natural levels in a couple of weeks or so. The problem with all that bacteria? E. coli food poisoning. Oh, but that corn is so cheap, easy to produce, and fattens up our food (and our bodies) so quickly...

All in all, I thought the movie was a little unbalanced in its reporting and focused too much on meat and corn producers. I wished for more information about the mass production of vegetables and the benefits of buying local and natural. Nevertheless, the movie is one to watch. It will make you think twice about many things. No more mass produced meat for me. But I'm one of the lucky people who can afford local and organic. Unfortunately, I can see where a large part of our population won't be able to make the same choices.

On the lighter side of my food obsessions, this is what my storage room holds after the fall harvest:

Two kinds of pickles (fresh packed and brined), raspberry and golden raspberry jams (with some blueberry left from last year), applesauce, tomatillo salsa, tomato puree, picked hot peppers, corn/zucchini relish, potatoes, garlic, and butternut squash. In the freezer, I've also stored blueberries, cucumber salad, corn, zucchini, blanched apples (for pies), and bags of hot peppers.

It's a small stash (for a lot of work), but I'm using a squash for our dinner salad tonight, and that brings me great satisfaction. Earlier this week, we also used tomato puree for a chili, the salsa for samosas, and my boys choose my applesauce over packaged applesauce any day in their lunches. Small steps with large implications: The packaging is reused year to year. Everything but the fruit comes from our own backyard, grown organically. (The fruit came from local farms; next spring, I start my own apple orchard.) And my kids see it all in action--from seed to plate or Ball jar.

To think what I could do with a goat, an olive tree, and a wheat field...

(428 words)


  1. Yum! I was all proud when I made grilled cheese sandwiches with homemade tomato chutney. OK I didn't grow the tomatoes (I tried but they died) but I did make the chutney. Baby steps.

  2. Congratulations -- isn't great to eat food you & your family grew?! The food and your shelves look sumptious -- happy Thanksgiving!