Sunday, May 18, 2014

Homestead & Garden Food Dangerous?

Jenna W of Cold Antler Farm posed an interesting question on her blog :
"Do any of you out there raising food ever experience concern or doubt (or maybe even disgust?) from friends or family about eating what you produce? For example: people who are scared of raw milk, blue eggs, non-bleached lettuce or backyard pork? Has anyone ever turned down your food because it wasn't store bought? I'm curious if any of you have been balked at when offering homegrown to folks who are used to bar codes on everything they chew on?"

I haven't seen a lot of the rejection/avoidance problem around here in Ka'u, but I've seen some .....

Eggs : I've had people politely decline my eggs because they aren't "sanitized" or "sterilized". And I've had others choose the dozen eggs that had no green shelled ones in it (afraid of unusual colored shells?).  One woman made a point to tell me that my eggs were "bad" because the yolks were orange (not pale yellow like store bought eggs). Another woman told me that she "had" to throw away the eggs because the first one she cracked open had a blood spot. I've heard people say the local eggs were risky or even downright dangerous to eat. 

I've watched at farmers markets and see people reject any veggie that shows the least amount of insect damage. My mother had a neighbor who would throw away any ear of fresh corn that had a corn worm in it.....she gave them to my mother to feed to mom's chicks, though secretly my mother would clean, cook, and eat the ear of corn herself. My mom was no dummy and wasn't going to waste good sweet corn to feed the chicks. 

I know several people who won't touch local raw milk and have gone to the effort to warn me of the "danger". Several people think that all raw milk, regardless of the source, is highly dangerous. 

I had a neighbor tell me that she got rid of her milking goat because her husband couldn't bring himself to drink the milk or even eat the yogurt and cheese she made from it. He was afraid to taste it. 

One of my own relatives on the mainland chucked out an entire garden because she saw wildlife walking around in it. She said that the wildlife contaminated the veggies, making them unfit to eat. 

Ok, that's my tale. As you know, I have absolutely no problem eating out of my garden nor consuming local meats, milk, cheese, fish, etc. I actually eat very little commercially produced foods. Considering the contamination of big business food with assorted chemicals and pathogens, I personally believe that small farm food is safer. Of course that's acknowledging that I "know thy farmer" and only get food from sources that I have faith in. 

It seems to me that people interested in a homestead life have no issues with eating home grown foods. But the vast majority of the population in the USA are not homesteaders. 

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