For Seedcorn: How do you live without eating processed food

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Rosalind, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Seedcorn asked in another thread, how folks manage to avoid eating a whole lot of commercially processed food (especially eggs) since they are really ubiquitous and a major part of most people's diets. If you cut commercially processed foods from your diet, tell us how!

    Personally, I got very squeamish about commercially processed food after working on a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease) remediation project for my employer. Commercial slaughterhouses are nasty, filthy places which are truly not adequately inspected. Seriously, I have seen these operations with my own eyes, on the days when the USDA inspector was out on vacation. Not pretty. And many of them are inspected about once every few years, as opposed to daily. In some states (like Ohio, where I used to live), the inspectors call to schedule the inspection ahead of time rather than surprising the managers--so the managers get a couple days' warning, and they spend those couple of days scrubbing, cleaning, and covering up the violations as best they can.

    So I stopped eating commercially produced meat and eggs. When I lived in apartments, I made a point of finding farmers' markets wherever I lived, bought CSA subscriptions, and went to all the farm open houses to see the farms and the working conditions with my own eyes. When I bought a house with a couple of acres, I planted a giant garden. My husband and I both have friends and relatives who hunt deer, and I fish.

    Scheduling can be a bit of a hassle. I don't have as much time for hobbies as I'd like, because Sundays are mostly spent cooking. I cook the meals for the week and pack it up into Tupperware containers, then freeze it. I also do at least one Major Cooking Project per week, sometimes two. This past several weeks it's been canning and fishing, since I don't like fishing in winter if I can avoid it. There are tricks to making it a bit faster, and you have to have a pretty good cooking repertoire. A rice cooker with a slow-cooking setting is truly a godsend, because the easiest meal by far is to throw quinoa, frozen veggies, sunflower oil and a frozen fish fillet in the rice cooker and push the button. The weekly staples that I make all the time are quiche, bread, muffins and yogurt. Holiday meals are usually venison of some sort: my favorite recipe is sauerbraten, DH prefers burgers.

    There are side benefits apart from the smug satisfaction of knowing that your money is not supporting ADM; being exceptionally picky and lots of outdoor garden work means that both DH and I maintain our respective ideal weights. We also have extremely low cholesterol despite eating plenty of our own eggs. Nor do we spend a whole lot on entertainment, unless we are hosting a party ourselves. The only real concession I have made to eating processed food is in the liquor cabinet, as it's definitely not legal to distill my own and the local brewery's vodka leaves much to be desired. If I ever get to visit Russia, I'll be sure to visit the Stoli factory.

    So how about it? What do you all do without Twinkies?
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing 11 Years

    Jan 20, 2007
    My gardens are huge. I can and freeze enough for a whole year and then some.

    I go fishing and freeze enough fish for a whole year.

    I go hunting and harvest enough venision ( it is superior to any beef ) for a whole year.

    I wake early every morning, and get er done!

    I thank God every day for the blessings he has given me.

  3. fullhouse

    fullhouse Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    We grow a large garden, have 5 fruit trees, are members of a CSA (2 shares since we have 5 kids), raise meat and eggs chickens, and buy produce and fruits direct from 2 local farms and orchard when in high season to preserve. Milk comes from a local dairy I can go to anytime I want. My kids have feed the calves.

    We do it all on 1/4 acre in suburbia while juggling 5 little kids and our own business. We do eat out on occasion, but last time I got E-coli and that has taken away my desire for Chinese food. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008
  4. chiknlady

    chiknlady Songster

    May 12, 2008
    SE PA
    Hey Bigzio--what are you using for bait to catch enough for a whole year??? Must be the difference in states 'cause in PA the fish are not biting for me....
  5. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    I can't eat most processed food because they make me ill in a variety of ways. I can't eat a large variety of foods even if they are not processed (take a lot of good vitamins):

    some veggies
    some fruits (not in large amounts due to hypoglycemia)
    legumes on occasion
    grains in small amounts irregularly

    If I eat processed foods I can get massive migraines. Store-bought commercial turkey makes me want to commit suicide from the migraine (nitrites).

    Strong dyes have started to give me migraines in the last few years. Blue dye sometimes gives me seizures.

    I bought some sugar-free popsicles the other day - I had four of them in one day (it was 100 degrees ... they were SO good). The next 2 days I suffered a migraine that would not go away with ice/meds. They were very strongly colored, said 'natural', 'made with juice', but.... [​IMG]
  6. holliewould

    holliewould Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Planet Earth
    I don't eat processed foods either. Took a couple of weeks of starvation to get used to. Amazing how creative my cooking has been. I got banana, starfruit, mango, papaya, keylime, and coconut trees. Beans, okra, collards, and tomatoes everywhere. And my own chickens of course. So it's not that difficult once you get the hand of things. Like you said, it can be time consuming.
  7. Momma_Cluck

    Momma_Cluck Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    N. West Michigan
    We are also trying to "get back to basics"... not easy on a very limited budget and raising teenagers... but we are slowly but surely getting more "independant" and will be getting a wind Generator in April-- and are trying to put our 1.5 acres of cleared land to good use... (the other 2 acres are wooded, and good hunting!)

    For now, we are buying things in bulk from the local co-op, farmers market and whole-foods market.... while we try to prep our land to do it on our own next year....

    I have a 12x20 greenhouse, but a bad storm ripped-off the covering-- we will have it fixed by spring so I can start seeds early, and grow potted veggies a bit later into the season...

    We have been trimming and caring for the 5 half-dead and overgrown apple trees on the property for the past 3 years (had to learn how-- and the previous owners just let em go wild) so we think that weather willing, we'll get apples next year (frost killed em all this year! [​IMG] )

    We had tried for years to use the old owners "horse corral" area for a garden, but it is so sandy and devoid of nutrients, it'll take YEARS to amend, and the surrounding trees are now grown and shading it is going to be a pig & turkey corral!

    Our side-yard is never used- and has a relatively level area about 60 x 200 that will be a garden next year (lawn will be tilled-under by a good neighbor soon!)

    And now, my "office" out back has been turned into a 12x14 chicken coop (lined with heavy boat tarps!) with 12 bantys + 10 Rocks, and have 17 more mixed layers on the way! Next year-- will add a small coop to the other side-yard for meat birds!

    This site has helped us immensley---
    and so has a WONDERFUL book we found at the library (and then bought from Amazon!) by Carla Emery called the Encyclopedia of country living... it has everything from growing & grinding flour, raising and plucking birds, home births, raising and milking goats, gardening/canning etc....
    If you have a chance to read it-- I HIGHLY recomend it!

    And ANY Advice those of you allready living this way is really appreciated!! Hard to find some basics in this small town!
  8. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    We too are trying to get back to the " basics" I was told by a dear takes about 5 years to get your " new home" where you want it to be. Well...we are on year 3, and have almost finished the plantings. So far we have a few apple trees...cherry plum ( lost the other to the heat [​IMG] ) , persimmons, grapes, raspberries, elderberries and mulberries...and I am looking to get peach trees for fall planting. I want to get English Walnut trees...but they are hard to We are starting another garden area, and hopeing to get the pond dug out bigger and deeper for our fish meals. We of course have our chickens, turkeys, and pigs....and next spring wanting to get sheep....and get the well hooked up to a windmill for watering the gardens and animals. My grandson and son are planning to help me build a smoke house, for my grandsons 4 H project next year. Yum! I can everything I can get my hands on..and freeze the rest. Its just the 2 of us here now...but I think we can make it happen. We have a wood stove, and 3 or so acres of very thick, undermanaged woods. We are also always looking around for fallen trees after the storms, from friends and co workers. The time will come, when we will have to depend on ourselves to get we are prepareing now. I just hope we are not too late.
  9. I myself am not big on cooked veggies, so I make them into juice drinks in the juicer...of course, I have made some pretty wretched concoctions...but most are palatable...many are quite yummy! I make those out of my own grown, or farmers market purchased fruits and veggies. I raise and butcher my own animals for meat, cheese, milk, eggs, wool... I process the hides also [​IMG] my hubby cooks alot, so we make our own breads and pastas with whole grain flours from health food store. I make cookies and cakes and candies for dessert... you can make REALLY good "twinkies" on your own with all natural ingredients and organic sugar that taste 5000 times better than the store twinkies...they just won't last til the end of time lol [​IMG]
  10. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Quote:That's what I am hoping too. I have been tryng to get my husband to get some solar panels on this house for 2-3 years. Now here lately he is seeing that he should have listened to me. Our house is a huge old antebelum style home that is massive and it's gonna take some solar POWER to get it all done. It's gonna cost about $20,000 to get all we will need to do it, butwe found out that the state and the government gives grants and after all is said and done it will be about $2,000 out of our pockets. I have pears, apples, blackberries and blueberries that are all producing now. We have a big garden that we are going to quadruple next year, and I am working on getting a dehydrator now. We hunt and fish for fun but I don;t eat either. I am going to try to make myself start eating deer meat before this c[email protected] beef kills us. The only thing I think I'll have trouble with is making my own flour and cornmeal.

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