4.12.2010

My Computer's Down but My Freezer is Full

I had to take my desktop unit in yesterday so today I'm on a wee laptop with no access to photos :(

The weekend didn't facilitate knitting at all.  The days were busy and full and by the time I sat down at night I was fighting to stay awake and loosing the battle every time!

The activities of the weekend were largely centered around food. Unlike the previous weekend where it was all about preparing it for Easter, this weekend was about buying it and organizing it for storage.

Last year we replaced our inefficient ancient upright freezer with a small chest freezer that I try to keep essentially full while constantly rotating the contents.

It was time to stock up on meat again as I was rapidly depleting the frozen stores. For a while now we have been buying meat and poultry from sources other than the grocery store. One personal connection we have is to a couple who raise small herds of cattle for their own use. Alternately sometimes be buy from a small town butcher who operates a free range cattle operation in the farm country near My Beloved's home town 2.5 hours outside the city. He also has chicken and pork on offer in his shop.

The beef is grass fed, the chickens and eggs free range from very small producers. The butcher makes his own sausage that, like his pork products are also from small scale hog farmers in the area. A special treat for My Beloved and the kids was the butcher's special summer sausage complete with linen cheesecloth wrapping and still wearing the cotton string tied in the bow that allows it to hang for aging and whatever else you do with summer sausage. We also bought local maple syrup and honey, beeswax candles and home made soap.

With the meat wrapped in butcher's paper Not one scrap of packaging of all these goodies will go anywhere other than our green bin!

Back in the city Sunday I worked on the home grown side of things transplanting herbs, tending to the emerging peas, planting spinach, mesclun and leaf lettuce and also a few garlic cloves in the spots where last fall's plantings had some holes.

Finally, after dinner it was "Food Inc."on CBC. The nightmare that is agribusiness sure gets pulled out in the light of day to disgust and horrify in that movie. All of it was essentially stuff I already knew or suspected - hence our increasing efforts to seek out alternate sources of fresh food than the grocery store. I did feel good as we watched to know that at least we were supporting local farmers and their efforts to raise bio diverse livestock in humane conditions while respecting the fertility of local farmland.

For my part its more labour intensive than buying processed food but its also a much healthier way to eat and live!

The point was made in the final few minutes of the movie that when we purchase food of any kind either in restaurants or fast food places, the grocery or the farm stand we are making a powerful and influential vote in favour of that product we've bought. All those votes are closely tabulated by the food and grocery industry and do affect the way they do business and the products they offer. I'm keen to let them know I don't like the way they're doing things!

So I feel very good about the votes we cast on the weekend (and a little bit guilty about buying stuff at the home baking table that I then ate on the long drive home. Those kinds of "votes" get tallied right in and around the waistband of my jeans "in favour" of more exercise! Booo!)

I hope you had a good weekend and unlike me got to knit as much as you wanted and hoped to! Thanks for dropping by!

8 comments:

Amy said...

We've been buying our meat from a local farm for a couple of years now, but I was SO GLAD we were, when I saw food inc. I find it tastes better too, don't you?

I also reacted really positively to their final point that we vote (at least) 3x/day. It spurred me into action, rather than just leaving me depressed.

Acorn to Oak said...

We've been trying to do the same thing for the past year or so...buying local and organic, as much as possible. It does require more effort but it feels good. Still trying to find a good and affordable source for meat though that is naturally and ethically raised. That's been very challenging. We buy the "healthy" meat as much as we can but often end up buying from the grocery store because it's all we can find or afford. We won't give up though. It's great to read about someone else that is working at this too. I don't meet very many people who understand. Happy, healthy eating! :-)

Sandra said...

we try. Our butcher works hard to stay within 100 miles with free range and grass fed and organic as the key features. During the summer, it's farm stand produce as much as possible, or grown in our own yard if possible. We have enough grocery sores around us that we can pick and choose.
It doesn't always work that way - busy family and work life menas choosing convenience at times, but we do try. I also make and freeze meals for the inlaws - otherwise they are eating crap - full of sodium and other stuff. We drop off now and then for them. Better for them, and better for us.

Rue said...

For many of the reasons that you just mentioned, I took the plunge last December and went vegetarian (well, pescatarian, since I'll still eat fish). It feels absolutely wonderful and I'm certainly eating better than I ever did before. The DH is being a good sport about it too, even though he's delighted to have meat whenever we go out.

Have you looked at the New York Times recipes for health series? It's got some fabulous recipes focusing on using what's in season. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/series/recipes_for_health/index.html?ref=nutrition

elizabeth said...

I haven't seen Food, Inc. yet, but many years ago I read Fast Food Nation which was enough to make me give up meat. I've gone back to eating meat occasionally, and I'll be glad when the farmer's market starts back next month so I can buy local fruits and veg and free range eggs!

Brenda said...

Yes, the stories of grocery store meat production really turn the stomach. We are lucky, locally, to have a 100 Mile Market. They sell dairy, meat, poultry, fish, grains, flours eggs etc. I shop there as much as possible.

Michelle said...

A couple of shops I rate in the Toronto area are Rowe Farms: http://www.rowefarms.ca
and the Healthy Butcher: http://www.thehealthybutcher.com/
My husband is vegetarian but I still enjoy a cut of meat once or twice a week and usually get it from these sources.
I haven't seen Food Inc ... will have to check it out!

Stephanie said...

Yoohoo! I'm definitely into this. Although I think I really need to learn to cook well before I really tackle eating food that's local and organic, which are my standards. It's so hard to find local food in winter in Minnesota - I think here I'm about at the same latitude as Toronto. I don't have much gardening experience, nor a garden. I'd love to though. As soon as the sun really came out I've been wishing I could have a good reason to be outside.

Well - it's a process, something to get better at, this living thing. ;)