Every day I encounter people who are trying to be healthy, eat right and live responsibly. It seems that everyone has an opinion about what is the best thing to eat. Every day there is a new thing…8 foods experts won’t eat, foods for a flat belly, no carbs, high protein vs. no meat, high fat vs. no fat, organic vs. non-organic, non-GMO…the list goes on and on. Then there are those who think we should just be drinking green super drinks.
I have recently been hearing a lot of people talk about “Eating Clean” . Clean eating basically says avoid the processed foods and stick to whole foods…that seems simple enough…BUT I noticed two of the eight foods experts won’t eat on the clean foods list. So what should we do?
At Big Oak Ridge we decided to adopt the Locavore stance. A locavore is a person who only eats what is grown or produced within 100 miles of their home. Granted that leaves us with a few issues since olives do not grow in Northwestern Pennsylvania. So we have devised the Big Oak Ridge Philosophy.
1. We will grow or produce as much food as we can on our farm.
2. We will search for organic and non-GMO products within 100 miles of our home.
3. If a product is not grown in our area, we will look for products: First) in Pennsylvania, Second) on the East Coast and Third) within the United States.
4. If it is impossible to get the product in the US (ei: coffee, coconut oil), we will look for an organic, Fair Trade source.
5. We are NOT making a religion of this and will not turn up our noses at parties and in other’s homes…we will be gracious and thankful for the hospitality of others.
This life style has caused us to view food differently. Realizing that growing and preserving food is a huge amount of work, we have come to value food as fuel and not waste this precious resource. We also eat fewer grain products. Grain is very difficult to grow on a small scale and non-GMO sources of grain are costly. Plus many of the grain products we eat require the addition of fats, sugars and leavening…things we try to avoid because they involve extra processing to produce.
We have learned to adapt many of our favorite foods to local options and actually find we prefer these new foods to the old, processed, grocery store, versions we previously consumed.
I’m sure everyone has an opinion why their food choices are better, healthier, easier and more tasty…but for us, this is our choice…for sustainability, environmental stewardship and our own food peace of mind.