hiking without happy meals; a modern paradigm chronicling the struggles, pitfalls,
& successes of life, running, writing, urban farming,
& home schooling in these crazy modern days.
Life is our classroom.
The list of 'what-abouts' and 'yeah-buts' is slowly growing. We have 'local' peanut butter, peanuts grown where (?) company located here & sold at the Food Co-op, where you can get oranges, lemons, bananas... I have to remember that our goal is to shop from specific location who mainly support local growers & vendors, such as food co-ops, farm stands & markets, locally produced &/or recycled goods etc no big grocery chains or restaurants. What about ginger root? What about a basic cooking oil? I didn't clear out the house when we made this pledge (as it were), we simply began. So there is a lot of, let's call them Big Brands around. But a week or so later there are less of them. I keep a list in the kitchen & as I think of or use an item I don't know where it really comes from or how to get it or if we even need it I write it down for discussion & research.
Right now I am trying to decide the 'value' of cold cereal (Willy Wonka: Do you have any idea what breakfast cereal's made of? It's those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners.). As a Diabetic, it has very little value to me personally & if you uncover the origins of it all you will see how cold cereal is an American-ish twist totally in the wrong direction of what was a rather good idea before we got to it: mixed grains, fruit, & a protein. 'Yeah-but', emotionally I love cereal, so do the kids, and my homemade ginger snap granola (which is very good) is not a substitute for Frosted Mini Wheat's. Here is the thing, if you get rid of say delicious Frosted Mini Wheat's you open your mornings to creative alternatives like zucchini muffins, cornmeal pancakes, homemade sweet rolls... It isn't about what you are giving up, it is about what you are making room for: a rather indulgent restriction if I may...
Take potato chips for example, when I made elk burger sliders I usually would pair it with a good bbq chip and a salad but this time armed with co-op produce I sliced vegetables to go with it. No one missed the chips. Next time I might make potato wedges or sweet potato fries anything but a bag of greasy potato chips. Is this making sense? Without getting too hung up on one item or another the bigger picture is already paying off. We see our food very differently. We are more careful & thoughtful. We eat less because the quality of food is higher in just about every way you could count.
This answers the cereal question, yes we can walk away from prepared cereal BUT not from ginger root. In fact we could leave almost any finished products behind (glad we aren't) but we want/need some basic 'exotic' ingredients. And that is my line, any basic I need to cook &/or bake with (which I can't find at supports local market) goes on the Costco/NPS List and I'm not going to worry about it.
This is actually the best home school project I never planned. Each food choice is researched, examined, evaluated, and then sent to family trial. Next on the docket: snow cones...is a snow shack a local business? and no, I am not buying a snoopy snow cone maker if it's not.