Reading the label on the hoagie buns we brought home from our friendly super market convinced me it’s time to stop eating any processed foods. Or stop reading labels. Wow. There’s stuff in the hoagie buns I can’t even pronounce. Sodium stearoyl lactylate? Whatever it is, it sounds scary, and I have a hard time understanding why bread products need this. Heck, I can make my own bread without using any of that. A little flour, yeast, salt and water. No “extras” needed.
That makes me think about my growing up years. We ate plain food Mother fixed because we didn’t have the money to eat any differently. We milked our own cow, made our own butter, grew our own beef, raised our own pigs, picked fruit and berries, ate venison, and ate fresh fish we caught out of the Rogue River. The only preservatives ever used were sugar, salt and smoke, unless you define canning as a preservative.
I never heard the word “Cancer” until I was twelve. That’s when Grandpa Charlie was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The fact that he chewed tobacco from childhood until he was diagnosed might have had something to do with his stomach problems. I never heard of anyone else dying from cancer until my early twenties. And since that time…the early sixties…it seems like everyone is just waiting to hear the big “C” word. If you watch TV, you are destined to see commercials for at least one or two cancer drugs.
So what changed? I’m only guessing, but maybe what changed was what we eat. And how we grow it. I like the Michael Pollan book, Food Rules. In it he says eat real food, and if your grandma doesn’t recognize it, don’t eat it. And if the product you are looking at has more than five ingredients, don’t buy it. He also says to fill your larder from the outer edge of super markets. That’s where the raw, unprocessed stuff is displayed.
To be on the safe side, I think I’m just going to stick to a mountain man diet…straight meat and branch water. Well, I hear coffee is okay again. And maybe I’ll add in just a little bacon now and again.