Having read this recent blog post article titled "The End of The Road" (which I highly recommend reading), a blog post came to me that soon grew into what I believe will be a series of blog posts.
Here is an excerpt from The End Of The Road...
"The 1970’s ushered in a radical change in the government policy surrounding agriculture and subsidies. Policy that interferes with the natural rules of supply and demand and encourages farmers to “get big or get out.”
Moreover, our government farm subsidies prioritize the growing of commodities – non-perishable food products that can be stored indefinitely in grain-bins and traded on the world market to increase our nation’s GDP, thus giving the government more borrowing power to stem off its eventual debt-defaults from bloated budgets and out of control spending.
The deeper you look, the farther the rot penetrates. The farm of days gone by – of Old MacDonald with his diversified farm of edible crops, cows, pigs, and chickens – has been replaced with endless rows of corn and shiny-new grain bins that stick out of the countryside like cathedrals paying homage to holy corn."
So let me start this blog series with a question: Do you know when the first grocery store showed up?
It wasn’t until around 1920 and wasn’t really the type we know of today until sometime near the 1940s. That’s not really all that long ago.
So where were people getting the food?
The answer is this: the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, and the backyard. Maybe some dry goods were at a local trade or mercantile if you were fortunate enough to live near one.
In the 1970's legislation for farm subsidies was put into place. (Read about that in the aforementioned article). But something else happened around this time, a "movement" which America expressed great “liberating” ideas that women should leave the work of the home and get work outside the home. Along with that went many home cooked meals (exhausted moms opted for quicker meals) and slowly but surely we became detached from our food system and lost many skills our grandmothers once had. I honestly believe that was a trick of Satan to get women out of the house as much as possible with the belief they would be more “fulfilled.” He’s after our families and our health!
I’ve been that working woman – up until about age 34 which was the time when I was married and then had children. I enjoyed my corporate management position and I was paid well for it. I enjoyed the people with whom I worked and enjoyed the benefits as well. Looking back, I had a lot of material things (car, home, some nice vacations), still I never was fully “satisfied.”
But never before have I been so fully satisfied then when I started homeschooling, training up my children and learning (and then teaching) new “skills” in the kitchen and garden that seem long lost on this generation. I wish I wouldn’t have waited for a health crisis of my daughter to do it. But better late than never!
There isn't much that is "liberating" about the typical corporate-working-grocery-store- shopping world. But there is definitely something liberating (and fulfilling) about growing, preparing and storing up my family’s food, and improving my family’s health at the same time.
I will admit, there are some things I love about the modern food system. Refrigerators and freezers are awesome, and it’s great to have some fresh produce when the root cellar and canned goods are running low and nothing is started in our garden. To have the type of abundance we have available to us today would have amazed our great-great-grandparents. Being able to get salt, pepper, and variety of other spices is very handy, too.
What I don't like about the modern supermarket is the aisles and aisles of “almost food” – things that are heavily processed to have the shelf life of an Egyptian mummy with flavors created by a team of chemists. Did you know that there are over 4000 products in the average supermarket that contain corn in some fashion (most of it genetically modified, and therefore heavily sprayed with toxic chemicals). No one really needs that many ways to eat corn. It gives the illusion of choice, but in reality most of this “almost food” is generated by a small group of very large corporations. Many hiding behind names that look like local, small farms but are nothing of the sort.