Friday, February 19, 2010

Food: Fast, Good, or Cheap

I used to work at and advertising agency and our clients always wanted the work we did to be fast, good, and cheap.  We used to tell them, “you can have it fast and good, or you can have it good and cheap, or you can have it fast and cheap but you can’t have it fast, good, and cheap.”  I believe it’s true with everything in life. 

Most of our food today is fast and cheap so what does that say about its quality?  It’s not good!  And it’s killing us.  I’ve recently watched 3 documentaries that have really reinforced this:

You can watch Super Size Me on for free.  If you have a Netflix account you can watch Food Inc. and King Corn on Netflix streaming. You can rent them from too.

I knew a lot of the things I saw in these films but seeing it all on screen gave me the extra motivation to make more changes in the way my family eats, now.  I can’t bear to support such a corrupt system and I’m very concerned about losing our freedom. And I want to eat good food.

If you want good food you’ll have to decide if you’re going to pay for it with time or money. 

If you need it fast and convenient, you’ll have to pay for it with money.  My family does this by purchasing our produce from a local CSA, Klesick Family Farm.  It is definitely more expensive than typical grocery store produce but it is organic, sustainably produced and it is really, really good.  Google CSA in your town to find some alternatives to the grocery store in your area.  I received my first order this week from a local, online, home delivery, grocery store,  More than 50% of their products are locally produced and 50% of them are organic.  It is a lot more expensive than the grocery store.  I have to rewire my thinking on this.  Yes I could get triple the stuff for the same amount of money at the grocery store but it won’t be good and do I really need that much food?  We suffer from overabundance.  Most of us eat too much.  Paying more for my food means I buy less, making me appreciate it more and it’s difficult to overeat.  If you want good, fast, food you’ll probably have to stop buying something else so you’ll have more money for good food.  As you begin to eat better you’ll notice you don’t have to spend as much money on medicine and doctor’s.  I’ve discovered I can give up foundation (make-up) if I eat good lettuce regularly.  (I swear it makes my complexion smooth and blemish free!)  I’m sure there are more ways that eating well can pay for itself.  Check out the Eat Well Guide for more alternatives to the grocery store.

If you want your food cheap, you’ll have to pay for it with time.  You’ll need to plant a garden and learn to save and store food.  You may want to start raising some chickens, bees, goats, or cows.  You’ll need a big freezer.  Learn to bake and cook.  If it can’t be made at home you probably shouldn’t be eating it anyway. Check out the Slow Food Movement.

My family does some of this and I hope to eventually produce or trade for all of our own food.  I have experimented with bread baking but I don’t have a wheat grinder and I want whole wheat bread.  I’m working on an arrangement with one of my friends to buy homemade bread from her.  I hope to begin making homemade pasta and salad dressing and then I’ll offer to trade or sell it to my friends.  One of my friends is going to start raising chickens and keep bees and I will be able to buy eggs and honey from her. 

It’s important to me to feed my family good food so I’m paying for it with time and money.  What will you do?

Here is some more food for thought.  I haven’t read most of these yet but I plan too.


Che said...

It's a whole new world isn't it? You know, Julie Greenman is an AWESOME resource on all of that natural food stuff. She could also probably help you lower your costs by a LOT with who she orders through and how she does things, even down to food storage, best wheat grinders, etc... And, she has some GREAT and YUMMY recipes- even raw chocolate ice cream, chocolate apple cake and lots more! She started learning all of this by reading a book called Original Fast Foods. I have it too and our family has been learning how to cook and live that way. A friend of mine has been encouraging me to look up a company called "Monsanto" and I haven't done so yet but supposedly, they're not good... more seed genetic modification/pesticides yucky stuff in our food supply.

More importantly, how are you and the kiddos?

Jennifer said...

Thanks Che! I'm going to have to connect with Julie on this and check out that book. Food Inc. talks about Monsanto and yeah, I walked away thinking they were evil, for more than just what they do to the food - they are putting our freedom at risk.

Kids are all awesome! The twins are starting to walk and getting into everything so it's a little crazy around here but that's the kind of problem I like to have:)

Christina said...

You should look into Azure Standard. They are a company in organic that do bulk organics. I'm ordering various grains through them. You can go to their website and request a catalog for free.

Jennifer said...

Thanks Christina! I will!