It’s important to ask questions.Never stop. Question everything.
That is a big lesson I try to teach my children. It’s cliché, but now more than ever, I realize that knowledge truly is power. As I guide my children to seek out the “why” behind all the things they see & wonder about, I realize how quickly their knowledge & understanding of the world expands. The more I lead them to notice, question, & hypothesize about the average, every day things around them, the more they come to me with comprehensive, elaborate observations that they’ve made on their own time. At the ages of 4 and 7, without a doubt, on some days, it’s all I can do to simply survive until the moment they start snoring & the questions stop. They drive me batty sometimes. But I know I am fostering capable, intelligent, thoughtful individuals. What better way to train up decision-makers than to foster curiosity? One needs to seek out information, sort through it critically, & form opinions based on experiences & knowledge.
There are plenty of days, like today, when I only wish I had the answers to their questions & solutions to our problems. It’s been all over the news: another nationwide recall of food due to contamination. 167,000+ pounds of beef have been recalled due to possible e.coli poisoning.
God willing, it is my goal to get out of the corporate food trap; to stop buying “manufactured” meat & purchase from farms. It is my goal to grow & preserve (freeze or can) fresh vegetables & fruits & purchase everything I can from area farms & at farmer’s markets in my community.
“With great power goes great responsibility.” – President Harry S. Truman.
This quote came to mind when I realized the size of the journey I was about to embark on. This could empower me, my children, my grand children, & so on. Who knows what condition the agricultural industry will be in for generations in the future. I can only imagine what kinds of outbreaks & epidemics they will face. At the same time, this is a huge responsibility for me & my husband. We both work full-time jobs & have made small attempts at gardening that didn’t turn out all that great. Farmer’s markets in my town are at least a 20-minute drive away, whereas we live within walking distance from at least 5 grocery/department stores. Farms are even farther…an hour? Two hours? I have no idea. I know of one butcher, about an hour away. I hear it’s not as easy to get the same cuts of meat we’re used to. It takes so much more time & preparation. I could never find the time to actually cook everything “from scratch” like my Great-Grandmothers. Maybe it will taste different. I am filled with uncertainty & anxiety. My inner voice says, “I don’t have time for this. Am I crazy? I don’t want to do this. It’s SO much work.” Then, one of my all-time favorite sayings rings out loud & clear, reminding me that I must.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou
Instead of continuing to worry & complain about what “they” are putting into the foods, I feel more & more compelled to start learning & teaching my children to do something about it; to seek out other sources, to grow our own food, & to learn the art of preserving it. I am but two generations removed from women who saw this not as a chore, not as a hobby or a skill, but as the method of survival & feeding their families. “These aren’t ancient ideas. It was not so long ago. I can do this…”
It is my goal to find farms, butchers, & farmer’s markets from which to purchase safe, real foods. It’s time for me to learn to use recipes again & to honestly prepare & cook real foods again. I’ve become addicted to the microwave. My kids are conditioned to expect a meal in 15-20 minutes flat, & heaven forbid they should have to tolerate the aroma of real food cooking in the oven!
It is my obligation to learn these skills & pass them on to my children & Grand children. Just as I have worked so hard to empower my children with curiosity & independent thought, it more than makes sense that I train them to sustain themselves. We do not have to live, eat, & feed our children at the mercy of Monsanto, USDA, etc. We can choose to do the work that is required to be in control of what we consume. It’s the same work that was required of our Great-Grandparents & their Parents & Grandparents. It’s the same work that was always required, going all the way back to the Natives that fed themselves from this land. And while the work might have gotten easier, the quality, the purity, & the safety of our food have suffered greatly, along with our health.
God willing, eventually, it won’t matter what “they” put into the food. We will not need their versions food, & we will learn to see, smell, & taste the difference. God sustained all of the people before us with the land they had & the animals they raised. He will make a way. It may not be the way I have envisioned, & I’m 100% sure it won’t be easy, but we can & we will take back the power & the responsibility of choosing our food, how it is raised, & what is goes into it.