Where do I begin?! I’m such a Google queen. I’ve learned half the things I know from Google. I mean, if I can do it (or at least try)…. Bet your butt I will.
So about 5 years ago, my father in law and I got into a heated discussion about compost. Yes, compost. You mean to tell me you take food scraps and put them in a heap and let it get old? GROSS! I could not wrap my brain around it. My argument was that compost was spoilage of food. His was that it was a breakdown. Technically both of us were correct. Spoil and breakdown essentially are in the process of decomposition. And so my journey began.
And I learned.
My husband and I lived in Northwest Arkansas for 2 years. While I was pregnant with C1, I was jobless and we lived with my in-laws who have an affinity for the outdoors. While we live with them, we learned some pretty awesome life lessons.
Becoming self-sufficient was the name of the game. Why in God’s beautiful green earth would anyone want to do such a thing??? I mean, you drive to the store, purchase the foods you love, go home and eat, right? Ha!
Now here is the setting- this was the “cash for clunkers” time period. Jobs were scarce and struggle was everywhere. Money was tight and times were hard. Hardest I had ever been through in my short adult life. And we were about to have a baby! (Enter sarcastic, tearful “yay!” here). My in-laws established a garden. They were in the process of growing their farm into what they always had dreamed it could be. Air conditioning was a non-necessity (boy, does it get HOT in Arkansas during the summer) and learning to live under someone else’s “alternative” rules was a little something to get used to. Cable was also not important. Or a dryer.
Yes, a dryer! What???? NO RHOC???? Seriously?! YES! I’m going to be so bored. Who wants to be outside all day anyway?! Or so I thought…
“Necessity is the mother of all invention”… and when you don’t have something, for one reason or another, you adapt, improvise and overcome. It’s life changing.
So we adapted to the culture shock of how my in-laws lived. It was night and day from where I grew up. And we learned. In three months I learned how to build a green house, eat organically, grow food in the garden, hang clothes from a clothes line, not using chemicals for cleaning, learned about GMO’s, how to sew, can, think and the value of the dollar. I learned how to converse. To talk religion, and learn. To talk politics, and learn.
I learned to appreciate simple. Society makes us so eager to be “perfect” and “keep up with (enter name here)” but the reality was, when hard times hit how the hell were we going to survive? Will perfection matter? Does what the person have next to you really matter, superficially?
Learning to live off the land is a process. I am by no means a master gardener, an herbalist, holistic doctor, etc.. But I have learned how to survive and how to reinvent my health, my life in the last five years. I have learned to revile in the old ways of eating and that organic is the best. Truly that “alternative lifestyle” has manifested into the current trend…. The only trend that I am hoping has longevity for decades to come.
I always tell my oldest son that I baked him from scratch, like a cake. God and nature put all the perfect ingredients together to make the perfect boy that he is.
So, in that, why is our food system not the same? Earth knows what she is doing, all by herself. She doesn’t need chemicals or supplements to create the food we eat.
For those that do not know, a GMO is a Genetically Modified Organism.
This means that the genetics of food are altered to no longer respond to certain herbicides, pesticides, chemicals for the sake of processing, preserving or abundant growth. Our food absorbs this, and the seed used continue to grow to harvest. And of that harvested, we eat. WE EAT CHEMICALS. Let that sink in.
Fortune 500 companies have moved into the genre of farming. The guys in the nice, expensive suits are telling the down and dirty cowboys how to do their job. Hmm, awkward?! It’s not just about the food we eat, but the products we use on our teeth and skin, put into our bodies. Period. So with these alterations, it changes chemical makeup through human consumption. We were not intended to eat synthetic chemicals. And so you find cancer, auto immune deficiencies, allergies, etc. at an all-time high. You don’t put regular gas in a Mercedes. So, why do we do it to ourselves? Money. It all comes back to money. How does that make you feel? And if you don’t believe me… Google it 😉
We, as a community, as a nation, as a people are allowing business feed our families and dictate our health.
And so we learned.
We learned how to grow and pick vegetables from the backyard. How to pick healthy foods from the grocery store. Learned how to cook from scratch and how to cook seasonally. Not only did it feel good, it tastes amazing. We learned to embrace the gifts that mother nature gives us. We learned how to use our brains and the independent knowledge, alternative knowledge. It’s been the best gift ever.
So, after C1 was born we started making small adjustments to how we ate. I wanted to set a foundation for my child. I wanted his relationship with food to be healthy and wholesome without all the heartbreak when you hit your late twenties and feel disappointed in how you look and feel.
Five years later, we are STILL making adjustments. My husband and I have 30 years’ worth of bad habits to break. Mother Nature is a library. SO much to see, do, experience, and gain from what she has to offer. I highly recommend Food, Inc., I promise you it’s worth the watch.
We are still learning…Here are some of the best tips I have for shopping organic we have learned .
Jenn – The Naturalist Mom
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