I feel like I’ve had a lot of cranky posts lately, so I thought it might be nice to shift into a non-cranky gear for a moment and write about something the makes me feel really good.
I had a hamburger for dinner tonight. It was not bad for me.
Right about the time I met Cate, I was starting to try and figure out the whole food conundrum. I am a tree hugger, and the environmental implications of industrialized food were starting to bother me. It was hard to figure out, though. I started buying organic at the store, but, you know that didn’t really feel like much.
Okay, none of that last paragraph is really the point. The point is the hamburger I had for dinner tonight and how it was delicious and good for me.
Every week (or nearly so) Cate and I go to the farmer’s market. We get our meat almost exclusively from this one place. The man we buy our beef and pork and eggs from recognizes us. He knows me by name. We chat every time we pick something up. I know him, even if it’s just a little bit. I like eating his animals. They are fed the kinds of things they should be fed. The kinds of things that they were evolved to eat.
I evolved to eat these animals. And I evolved to eat them after they had eaten what they are supposed to eat (grass). If a cow eats grass, and I eat the cow, this is good. It even lowers my cholesterol. There are studies that are starting to show that cows that eat grass make better food than farm raised salmon that are fed corn. I like eating both of those things, but isn’t it surprising that beef grown the right way can be as good as salmon grown the wrong way?
These cows and pigs and chickens lead happy lives, doing what they’re supposed to do. That matters to me. It makes me feel better when I eat them. I don’t have moral issues with eating meat, and I wouldn’t mind killing it is it came down to it. But I have moral issues with torturing animals. It makes me feel good to know that these animals weren’t mistreated.
And the tomatoes and onions and greens and fruit and even the potatoes. It’s all so good. You know how tomatoes don’t really have much taste and blueberries can be kind of mealy? That’s why we try to eat as little grocery store produce as possible. Food grown in a local farm almost always tastes so much better. I like eating that food. I look forward to it. And OOOOOOOHHHHHHH the peaches.
I’ve started to lose my taste for processed food. Things like twinkies and anything made by Little Debbie. Cheese that isn’t really cheese. I can taste the chemicals. I like that I can taste the chemicals. I like knowing what I put in my body.
I like that I can eat a hamburger with fries or a spinach salad or whatever and follow it up with fruit-cream pie (blueberry or peach or blackberry or strawberry) and not even think “is it okay for me to eat this?”
I like that when I buy something at the farmers market, I know exactly who is getting the money. I like knowing that I am getting something that is food. Something that will not harm my body.
My dad has high cholesterol. He has for years. So did his parents. I’ve already gone longer than he had without having problems. I think the food is part of it. That makes me feel good.
I’m not preaching. I’m not telling you to go to the farmer’s market (though, really, it’s the best bacon you’ve ever tasted). I’m just saying it makes me feel good to give my money to those people and get food that tastes good (you should try Cate’s tomato soup made from market tomatoes). It’s all so different than what I was raised on. When my dad has it, he says it reminds him of the food they had when he was very young. That makes me feel good.
I like that I don’t worry about food now. That I realize fat isn’t bad if it’s the right kind of fat. I like that I’m not ignoring nature. I like that I just eat the food that really feels and tastes right. That leaves me satisfied. That I look forward to eating again. That I savor. That I take more than ten minutes to eat. I like that this is the food I’ll be feeding my daughter soon (and that Cate is already indirectly feeding her.) It makes me feel good.