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Like a lot of other homesteaders, a big part of our self-sufficiency journey started with food. After reading “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver, I began to think about food in a different light. I began to think about the impact of food on our family’s health, and the impact each choice has on the world around us. The calculations on the fuel, manpower, etc. to have food shipped in from other states alone really shook me. I had just never thought our food consumption in such an overreaching way before.
After getting a few chickens and a couple of raised beds in the backyard of our city home, we decided to go whole hog and literally buy the farm, so we could practice self-sufficiency on a bigger scale. The rest, is, well, read the blog 🙂
While looking over our staggering bills lately, I was once again frustrated by the amount of money I was still spending at the grocery store. With a freezer full of local farm raised meats, our dairy from the goats, and the abundance of eggs, I couldn’t understand why we were still spending so much weekly at the grocery store. Some things I got – we were just coming out of winter, and I put away virtually none of the harvest from our garden last year, so produce I got, as well as staples such as rice, flour, sugar, etc.
Further contemplation of my weekly grocery bill revealed a large area of “crap” that been actively ignoring. I blame it mostly on the teenagers. My 15 year old son is a very picky eater due to his Asperger’s (for instance, he won’t touch a leftover, even if he enjoyed the same thing for dinner the night before), and incredibly lazy due to his teenage-ism, so I buy him a lot of things he can prepare for himself during the weekend. Things that go into the microwave. Things that are garbage. My 13 year old daughter is much better at preparing her own lunches and snacks, but as the only vegetarian in the house, I buy her a lot of processed, pre-prepared protein alternatives that she can make easily alongside our nightly dinners.
The “crap” is a big part of my grocery bill, and highlights the fact that I’ve been working against my fundamental desire to feed my family the best way I can. In fact, I’ve been enabling my children, who need great food the most, to eat poorly. Time to refocus.
What better way to get my stuff together than to issue myself a personal, and very public challenge!
For the month on May, I’m going to attempt to make cut as much processed food as possible from our family’s shopping list. These means, anything that can be made by me, will be made by me, from condiments, to pasta, to butter. I will also try to include the price of my homemade versions of things to the store bought, processed version, and time needed to prepare the different components. I will also post the recipes that work and don’t work. Should be quite the challenge, and an interesting month!