Justification. It’s something we all do. We justify our actions all the time, if not to someone else, to ourselves for certain. And after the past week of fighting with the amorous buck, I question myself, my sanity, my motives. Why? Why subject oneself to such frustration? potential harm? aggravation? expense? The short answer: it’s about the food.
I know that many have seen Food Inc. For us, this didn’t start with the movie, or with a reading from Michael Pollan. It started with personal tragedy. In 2006, we were reeling from two cancer diagnoses in our family. Cancer, sadly and like most, isn’t new to us. But these were very close cases. The first, our infant niece was diagnosed with a very nasty tumor and not given the night to live. Later, after she defied the first diagnosis, my wife’s step-father was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, a type that is particularly heinous. That’s when we, my wife and I, started thinking about the foods we eat. We started with bread.
For us, we learned initially through reading at the Bread Becker’s site, but ironically, it was coffee that most likely led us down the path. With home roasting, I had learned what fresh coffee was, how great it was, and the wonder of the cup. My exuberance has been evident to my wife, and as we started thinking about food, the freshness idea made a natural pathway into other realms. The first was grinding our own flour and making the majority of our bread.
Then came the goats. It was 2009 when we picked up our first pair, two Toggenburgs that were from a shared line. They are still with us and one is a champion milker on our little stead. I am like many of European ancestry and can’t tolerate cow’s milk. But goat was a viable alternative. Problem is that the cost is quite high. So, being now tripartite DIY-ers with respect to food (coffee, flour and eggs), we decided to make the jump to milk.
Seeing what happened with eggs and flour made us think more about what goes into what we eat. Now, we can’t bear the thought of buying milk or eggs: the eggs are pale, pasty, anemic in color when compared to ours. So, we’ve changed gears to provide for ourselves. To say it’s a cost advantage is a lie; there is no way we save money in this endeavor. Now, it’s a sacrifice to have a higher quality, and better food for us. We control most of what goes in, and enjoy the fruits of that labor.
There is no magic bullet that gives us perfect health. I’m suspicious of anyone who offers such. But fresh is better, from coffee to vegetables to eggs. It’s a choice we’ve made. It’s hard sometimes. It takes discipline, but who among us couldn’t use some more discipline?
Solo Deo Gloria,