Oops! Did I just lump us all?
In many ways I am different than “mainstream”. I’m a stay at home mom. I home school. I’m LDS. All of these affiliations bring judgment from others, good or bad, down upon me. I’ve been both admired and snubbed for these things….
Regardless, I continue on my merry way making the choices I feel are best for me, and I don’t care at all about “mainstream”.
Somewhere along my merry way I plunged wholeheartedly into being an organic loving, local sourcing, natural living, real foodie…
But I’m NOT a snob!
I have not personally been called a snob for this, but the accusation floats around on the interent, and on peoples lips. If you have money for organic, if you have money to buy food that isn’t off the dollar menu at the local fast food chain, then all this hoopla about organic, local, natural food is just for the wealthy or the snooty. For some reason eating organic is lumped in the same bracket as designer jeans.
Sure, I might spend a little more for my organic bananas, (unfortunately bananas don’t grow so well in Idaho) but lets take a look at what I’m not spending money on.
Toilet Paper, and other disposable paper and plastic products
Okay honestly, I do buy a little bit of TP still. My husband hasn’t bought onto my insanity yet, and I prefer to flush away the mess of number 2. But for number 1 my girls and I use cloth. (We talked about that more here, and here).
I also use reusable cloth grocery bags, I cloth diaper, and use cloth baby wipes. I use cloth napkins instead of paper towels. I pack real silverware in my husbands lunches. And I do all of this both to reduce toxins in my own home and for the environment. (Example here)
And because I wash my own cloth TP I’m the snob!
I think this is far and away the best switch I have ever made! When I got married, my husband and I took that first shopping trip to get the supplies and things we didn’t get from our reception. I was completely shocked, and a bit overwhelmed by the high price of cleaners. Dish soap, toilet bowl cleaner, disinfectant, glass cleaner etc… Try buying all of the household cleaners you need all at once. It would break almost anyones’ budget. But most of us do it, not thinking that maybe we are snobby for picking the fancy bottle that says extra foaming.
Now most all of my cleaning is done with two cheap ingredients, vinegar and baking soda.
And for this I’m the snob!
Lots of people garden without evoking judgement. But if you are an organic gardener or farmer that all changes.
So typically you go to the store and buy your 50 lb. bag of chemical fertilizer. You go home and dump it on your plants and you watch them grow to be huge and beautiful.
That’s not snobby, right?
Well, in my efforts to build soil and promote the health of earthworms, I shovel cow poop and turn it over and mix straw into it so when spring comes it has transformed into rich, nutrient dense, organic compost.
But to spite that I work hard, and my “fertilizer” is free, I am still considered the snob!
Now if you want to talk about an item that should be a delicacy, meat is it! Let’s face it meat is pricey. But we still buy it without hesitation, pound after pound, week after week we repeat the process. Maybe we try to put half a pound of ground beef in recipes that call for a whole pound, or maybe we add in some beans or rice or a veggie to our dishes to stretch the meat further. But very few people find themselves choosing not to buy it at all, and become vegetarian because it is simply too expensive.
Currently, I am raising my own beef and chickens. They are pastured, and organic. I will have to pay to have the beef butchered. But even paying for the animal and paying the butcher I save money buying it in bulk.
I will kill and pluck the chickens myself. (This will be a first for me in about a month… I’m not sure how well my stomach will hold up). My chickens cost less than a dollar a piece. When they are packed away in my freezer I will have the ability to make homemade stock from the bones which will supply me with free soup and gravy for a year. I will also get to put very inexpensive meat on the table. I will know that it is free of chemicals and contaminants because I prepared it myself.
Yet, I am still the snob!
Most of us run off to the grocery store to stock up on whatever fruits and veggies we want for the week. We think little about where it came from or what work went into get it into your grocery bag.
Most produce is grown in huge fields that require huge expensive tractors to till them, plant them, fertilize them, and harvest them. Year after year the same crops are grown on the same fields. Providing the perfect environment for pests to invade. Then the crops have to be sprayed with pesticides and herbicides.
Everything about our system of growing crops is unsustainable. It depletes the soil until the top soil vanishes all together. The nutrients disappear. In small organic gardens there is no need for pesticides and herbicides. Those problems can be dealt with cheaply and naturally. Home gardens don’t require half million dollar tractors. Simple tools suffice.
So because I support the guy down the street or the guy at the farmer’s market, because I bought a cheap shovel and hoe, and because I feed the soil instead of depleting it… I am the snob!
For me I own my own chickens. A baby chick costs about a 3 dollars and supplies you with an egg a day for a couple of years, if you care for it properly. So for me, I get approximately 730 eggs for $3.00. I just had to find some sneaky free sources of produce through the winter and let them roam the lawn in the summer.
But I’m the snob because I want something more nutrient dense and well.. much, much, much cheaper than just buying 1 or 2 dozen eggs for that price.
I drink organic, pastured, raw milk. From that milk I make my own cheeses, butter, and yogurt. In about 2 years our little Jersey calf, Tink, will supply all of my dairy products.
At that point I will trade the expense of dairy products for milking her, and then my dairy products will be nearly free.
But, of course, I am the snob!
Wait a minute… You rely on someone else to prepare and package your food, you don’t grow anything, you buy the pricey toxic cleaners, you love the convenience of one stop shopping, and you think disposables are an awesome convenience, and that none of this has consequences on your wallet, your health, or the environment…
Wait, who is the snob?!
Now, before I outrage the world by my rant, let’s be real a second. The way I live doesn’t work for everyone. It requires land, you generally can’t own farm animals in the city, it takes time. The point I’m trying to make is that if it is important, it is also possible. We all have different priorities. We all have a different perception of this world. Not all organic loving, local sourcing, natural living, real foodies do it the way I do. Maybe they make sacrifices that I don’t. Maybe they work extra hours to pay for their more expensive, but natural butter. Or maybe some of them are snobs.
But I know a few GMO loving, big box supporting, chemical embracing, processed food lovers who will never dream of giving up there Coke (or toilet paper) that are snobs too.
Obviously, I have a blog about real food and natural living because I believe in it. I’ve studied all the topics and formed an opinion or belief system about how food should be. It isn’t based on what the government tells me I should eat. It isn’t based on what major corporations or universities tell me are best. It is based on my own personal study and experimentation with food and health.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you choose or think as long as 2 things happen. First, don’t judge others for their thoughts. Second, before spouting out opinions make sure you study the information from multiple sources.
Then, if you still think being an organic loving, local sourcing, natural living, real foodie makes me a snob. Then maybe I am. 🙂