Eating Changes Over Time

Well we did it.  We officially did it!  No more guilty pleasures late at night.  No more smelling up the house because I slightly burned the popcorn.  There is one less processed food in my pantry.  The microwave popcorn is gone!  We have switched to regular popcorn and an air popper.  This means the only things left that are processed in the pantry is Peanut butter, a couple of noodle mixes, one Uncle Ben's rice mix, salad dressing, and some prepared mustard.  I am so proud of us.

Life has changed over the years and it seems that we have changed right along with it.  Thirty years ago, as young newlyweds we were lucky to have shake and bake chicken with a  chocolate pudding pie. Veggies were just not a priority and fruit was out of the question.  We lived on $3.15 per hour.  This paid our rent, auto insurance, gas, food, electric, and anything else we needed.  We never considered food stamps or government help.  We knew that our food supply came from the neighbor down the road and factory farms were just beginning.

My parents gave us meat, fresh fruits, and fresh veggies when they could.  We were poor and very happy.  Everything I made was from a box.  I knew how to make basic meat and potato dishes as that is what my dad ate but the idea of spaghetti or macaroni dishes that my husband was used to scared me.  I had no idea that the dyes and preservatives could harm us.  Very few people did at the time.

Incomes go up and ours was not an exception. We now had 4 additional mouths to feed and kids to dress.  We had a mortgage and farm to pay for.  We didn’t go out to eat because we couldn’t afford it.  Farm fresh eggs, vegetables, fruit, and our own farm raised pork and beef were part of our diets.  I learned how to make about half of our foods from scratch.  The other half was processed.   You want french toast for breakfast?  Great go find chicken or duck eggs and I would make it with store bought bread.  We raised four kids on a farm and for the last few years I worked outside the home.  I was lucky to read a passage in my bible let alone a whole book on anything. 

Life made a new change and we moved to Florida.  I bought fresh fruits and vegetables, but we ate so much processed food and ate out loads.   I even had a daughter who ate so many double cheese burgers it was crazy.  Every excuse she could come up with meant one more double cheese burger. I was no exception to this.  Each time I went somewhere there was a food or drink to consume.  Going to the mall?  You have to get a Barnie’s coffee and a pretzel. Getting groceries?  Lunch comes with that!  The eating out and processed food situation continued until I lost my job.

We seldom eat out anymore and when we do we rarely go to fast food places.  I started making home cooked meals which my family loved.  I began reading about the effects of food preservatives and additives on our bodies.  I began making my own replacements for the processed foods that we had been eating.  Now I am down to the few foods I mentioned earlier.  Even those foods will be replaced with more homemade replacements as I run out.  I already make peanut butter, but seem to eat far more of the fresh than the Jif.

We don't buy much organic, but raise many of our own veggies in our own garden.  We don’t use store bought pesticides, but use natural homemade pesticide treatments. I cannot afford organic milk, but make sure that the milk I buy is hormone free. In my local area, farm raised eggs are $6 or more a dozen, but I can buy hormone free eggs for $2.  One day I would like to raise a few ducks or chickens in my own back yard for eggs.  We eat a lot of roasted chicken so I make sure these are hormone free with as little saline solution injected as possible.

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