Thursday, July 9, 2015

Homesteading for Real Food?

I've recently been getting emails in regard to non-natural chemical use in foods. (By chemicals I'm referring to those that are not naturally put there by Mother Nature.) I have to agree that finding non-altered and chemical free foods in stores is close to impossible. Even most fruits and vegetables have been chemically treated one way or another. My own solution to this is to eat locally produced, non-treated fresh foods....mostly my own. Plus some raised by people that I know. Some foraged. 

I'm currently in Waikiki so I'm eating whatever is available via stores and restaurants. Bananas chemically ripened. Apples treated with fungicides for shipping purposes. Pineapple treated on the farm while growing. Meals in restaurants using processed foods. I'm finding it totally impossible to eat totally "clean & natural" foods. They simply aren't available. 

Out of morbid curiosity, I took time to note today how much actually fake food was around me here. I never thought about it before, so it was quite revealing what has happened to our foods. 
.....bacon bits on the salad
.....fake blueberries in the breakfast muffin
.....fake lemonade offered at lunch - the label showed zero lemon juice in it!
....."fake" cranberry juice at breakfast - mostly sugar water
.....fake crab salad on the dinner menu
.....fake ribeye on the plate of a diner sitting at a table beside us. The muscle pattern was all wrong so it had been made by meat cuts put together with meat glue.

And how much stuff was fake or close to fake that I wasn't aware of? Was the chocolate milk really just milk and cocoa? I don't think so. How about the honey? Real or flavored sugar water? Was that slice of cheese on the omelet really cheese, or possibly some stuff sold as processed cheese? Were those eggs fresh or out of a carton? They looked to be out of a carton. Way too uniform in color and texture. 

While I'm not a vegan eater, I know of folks that are. Now you talk about fake food! Take a look at vegan offerings in the stores. Vegan cheese. Vegan bacon. Vegan shrimp. Vegan sausage. And on and on. All fake food with long chemical additive lists. 

One of the side benefits of creating a homestead farm is that I have easy access to "real food". Now that I've moved to eating mostly real foods, I discover that I prefer it. Spending the last couple of days in Waikiki has reaffirmed that. Eating here has made my body object. It's gotten use to real foods. It will be much happier when I return home. And quite frankly, so will I. Visiting "the city" from time to time makes me really appreciate living where I do. 


  1. Interesting post about homesteading. thanks for sharing!!

    homesteading | raising chickens | backyard chickens

  2. Wow fake rib eye!? Now that's a new one on me. Unbelievable. No wait. Totally believable.

    All I can say is plus ca change, plus ca meme chose. Which means the more things change the more they stay the same. When I was a kid they sprayed DDT for mosquitos, we cooked in aluminum pans, asbestos and lead were every where. Now those things are gone but are replaced by more sophisticated chemicals. It's a never ending battle. It seems the way to eat is to grow your own or buy from someone who does and then not add a bunch of processed stuff.

    1. Fake ribeye filets and filet mignon are real enough. There is good profit in them. Meat glue is commonly used nowadays. Most likely it poses no health problems though our wallets will suffer by paying premium for fake meat cuts.

    2. How can you tell when the meat has been glued together?

  3. Comment from Fineartgourds-

    If we started our ill-starred carreer as a species by scavenging from carcasses, as some theorize, we should retain a certain ability to tolerate dietary insults, to some degree. And some observations suggest this is so. Alexander McCall Smith has noted that present day Scottish youth, on a diet of fried Mars Bars and American Fast Food, is the healtiest generation ever seen in the land of oatmeal and Single Malt and not much else.... oh, and a wee stolen fush occassionally. Short lifespan, maybe, but the chances were dismal to begin with. What we castigate as fake food started out as an attempt to get perishible calories into the bellies of everyone. It has turned into big business and obesity because we are lazy little monkeys. While we are struggling to find decent, unadulterated food to eat, huge segments of world population are still struggling to find Any food to eat. And look out! As the climate continues to deteriorate we are in for horrors that haven't been seen since the 900's A.D. and the Migrations Period.

    Meat glue? Really? Oh, yech! Where on earth are you people going for dinner?

    1. From Fineartgourds-

      Migrations Period was 600's, not 900's. So lax of me!

  4. A number of people have pointed out that the expected lifespan of humans has increased dramatically in the last 100 years. They pointed out that this coincides with the introduction of processed foods and chemically treated foods. Agreed, but the same logic implies that lifespan increased due to World Wars, automobiles, airplanes, telephone, electricity, the space program, and all other developments in the 20th century.

    Chemicals used in food preservation dramatically improved food safety. Thus there was a major drop in food poisoning deaths. But it made a much bigger impact in being able to get food to distant locations and therefore improving the availability of a much wider assortment of foods. The result was better nutrition for a wider segment of the population, especially in urban areas. Improved nutrition not only eliminated many nutritional related disease and death, but also eliminated complications (and deaths) due to malnutrition induced complications. The addition of vitamin and mineral additives also had a positive impact.

    But medical innovations had the most significant impact in improving lifespan. Vaccines. Antibiotics. The vast array of medications. Surgical interventions. New treatment procedures. Prior to the expansion of "modern medicine", people died from many things considered minor problems today -- appendicitis, tooth abscess, whooping cough, measles, mumps, polio, assorted infections. I grew up hearing about many of my relatives that died in the late 1800's and early 1900's from things that could have been easily treated today.

    The decision is still out as to how many health problems and deaths are directly influenced by the chemical additives to foods. Experts agree that some are, but the percentage and exactly what is highly debated. Medical watchdogs leerily eye the increasing cases of various lymphomas and certain other cancers. There are lots of red flags raised but no definitive answers. And there is not likely to be any exact answers either, ever.

    Personally I opt to take reasonable steps to eat clean, fresh, unprocessed foods. In my situation now I can have access to a wide assortment. That's one of the many reasons we chose Hawaii to settle in. It's just a personal choice that we made.

    1. I'm glad you noted that it was advances in medicine that lengthened life spans. I'm not sure that life expectancy increased at the same time as the introduction of processed foods at all! If it did it was just coincidence because it was really medicine, as you say, that did it. Anyway I was under the impression that the explosion of processed foods came after WWII.

      Anyway it depends on what the chemical is, what it is made of and how much is in there to determine the impact on health. I like your thoughtful approach. My opinion is that too many people look at a problem through a narrow focus and miss the big picture. You're not one of them.