Last weekend the kids and I attended Vision Forum’s Reformation of Food and the Family conference. Over the years, our eating has mirrored a roller coaster ride. I read and research and learn all this great information. I get excited and plan and have some great ideas. Then reality sets in. And it gets hard. And I get discouraged. Down goes the roller coaster as we run back to all the yuckies we need to be avoiding.
I think that is why I enjoyed this conference so much. It was such a great encouragement. One of the theme’s that was mentioned over and over by several speakers, is that eating well is a journey. It is something that takes time, and lots of learning over an even longer period of time.
For those of on this journey who are first generation sojourners, not only are we huffing and puffing trying to just keep on the path, we are also having to “cut” the path as we go. We don’t have a roadmap or gps, we have to find our way with each step. And if that’s not enough, there are plenty of money-hungry healthy eating experts out there that are happy to show us the way for a price.
Today, I drove about 45 minutes away to a little farm tucked away in the rolling hills of Texas. As I pulled up to the farm, chickens and guineas were roaming around the yard. A tiny red building next to the pig pen housed the freezers full of grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and pastured pork. The fresh milk and eggs are in the fridge next to the house.
As we were getting out of the van, out runs two little blonde-haired girls with their mama not far behind. She helped me get my goods out to the van, then took us on a mini-tour of the farm. We chatted about the pigs and their family’s hopes of moving toward heritage pigs. Then we discussed how hard it is to butcher the animals you have grown to love over the couple of years it takes to fatten them up (without growth hormones, that is). She walked us back to the van when we were done, thanked us for coming out and said she looked forward to seeing us next time.
As we drove away, I thought to myself,
“That’s how it should be.”
Simple. Basic. Whole.
I left that farm feeling so full of peace. This is how it should be. We should have peace of mind about the things we eat and feed out families. And it doesn’t have to be this complicated food matrix. It really can be simple.
What about the cost?
I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately, especially with the rise in couponing (yes, I have tried my hand at it). I don’t remember the statistics, but I read something somewhere that said we (as in modern Americans) spend less of our total earnings on food than any other time in history (or any other country, currently). We want it cheap (or free) and we don’t care how devoid of nutrition it might be. In other words, we are a gluttonous generation that wants to be fed by the work of others. Another non-statistical bit of info…one in seven Americans is fed with food paid for by others (food stamps, free lunch program).
Real food cost money. Do you know why? Because real food is grown by real people. Real people can only work so many hours. Real people are affected by nature (remember the curse put on Adam?). Real people have to feed their own family. When you buy real food from a real person, you have to exchange something of real value for the real food.
This often comes in the form of sacrifice. For most of us, eating real food is a sacrifice. It may cost more than we would like to pay. We may have to travel further than we normally travel. It probably takes longer to prepare. But the reward, or should I say blessing, of our sacrifice is great.
As time allows, I am planning on writing a series of articles about where to begin in reforming our diets. Sometimes the hardest part of a journey is the first few steps. And often those steps must be taken in faith.
I would also like to spend some time on practical ways we can eat a more wholesome diet while at the same time living within our means. This can be a challenge, but honestly I think a big part of overcoming these challenges is changing our mind set.
One other topic that deserves to be examined is the different fads out there, even in the “healthy” food arena. Everything has a label and everyone is wearing one! As a Bible believing Christian, we should start and end with His Word as our source of reference. What does the Word say about our eating (does is say anything at all)?
Finally, I would like to leave you with a verse. I know that the food topic can sometimes be divisive. That is not my goal at all. I pray that all I say or teach others would be done in charity.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1 Corinthians 13:1