If you grew up in the south, I know you have heard that saying. Or the saying my family used, "If you eat one more_________ (french fry or whatever you ate the most of) you're going to turn into a _____________ (french fry or whatever)." I used to hear that a lot growing up and I would just laugh. But now that I'm older it concerns me. Especially, because of what I have learned over the last several years, on how our food is raised and where it comes from.
***Let me go on record here, we have made a lot of changes in the foods we buy. But by no means are we 100% local, organic. We still by some processed and pre-packaged food. Our family does go out to eat and it is not farm to fork restaurants. We have made a huge change in our buying and eating habits. I hope in the future as people are educated there will be more options so we can get close to 100%.** Now back to my story:
You see growing up I knew where and how most of my food was raised. My family had a large garden in our back yard each year. I can remember many early summer morning garden trips with Mawmaw and Pawpaw Walls to gather the veggies. We would spend all morning gathering. Then we would sort and store the veggies in the room off the carport. Then do the rest of our chores. Late in the evening, we would sit out under the dogwood tree. My lap would be filled with a large silver bowl. Mawmaw and I would have a big 5 gal. Bucket between us with green beans, okra or whatever we had gathered that day and spend most of the evening checking, snapping or cutting. Looking back, I cherish those memories of that time spent under the dogwood tree. This food would be what we would eat on all summer. What we could not eat, we would can or freeze to have to eat on during the winter. Therefore we knew what was in the soil and how it was grown. As for our meat, we bought most of it at the local butcher in Mount Holly. Sometimes, we would have fresh fish that my pawpaw and I would catch down on the Catawba River. Then of course we made our weekly grocery trips to the local grocery store to buy our other stuff like milk, sugar, bread and of course some junk food. So for the most part, we knew about the food we were eating.
But today, if you are buying your vegetables at the local grocery store........check that little white print, more times than not it will not be from the US. Now, just stop and think, Where was it grown?.....What is in their soil?.......Who is checking the soil where it was grown? monitoring and inspecting?.......or do they inspect?...... How many people have touched it before you bought it?....How was it packaged and shipped to get to you?.....How long was the time from when it was picked until it reached the market?....Even if we think we are eating fresh produce.......if it was grown in contaminated soil or harmful pesticides where used.....then those chemicals are in your food. YUK!!!! Did you just have a WOW! moment?...... I know I did when I started this food journey. So those fresh? healthy? salads and other fresh veggies.....could be as bad as eating processed foods. I made a decision then to stop and rethink how I was going to feed my family.
My food journey started back in 2001 when Gary became sick. You see I thought I was providing healthy nutritious food for my family. I would buy the boneless, skinless chicken, use very little red meat and we always had fruits and veggies. I never stopped to think of what the animals were eating or how they were cared for either. It didn't occur to me to be concerned about where my veggies were grown. As I began to research Gary's disease sarcoidosis I soon realized there was a reason to be concerned, very concerned. With that research, I found studies on the importance of the soil the veggies come from and how they are handled. Which lead me to that WOW! moment. But for me at that time the most alarming study was about the effects of antibiotics & hormones given to animals that are being passed on to us. I know that for every study that says they can be passed there is another that says no they can't be. Well, this is my take on studies, I have to take the given info and decide, am I willing to take the risk. For me, I decided I didn't want to chance my families health that it might not be passed. If it is not there to start with then I don't have to worry or regret my decision 10 years from now when it may come out that oops, it was passed on, our mistake.
I am not writing this to scare you. I just feel that people need to stop and think about what is going on with our food supply. I know for me, if Gary had not became sick, I don't know when or if I would have looked this close into what we eat.
As I say about any of the things I choose for my family, I make my decisions based on my convictions. I have to answer for me. My daddy always said, "There is consequences for your actions, make wise choices." Good or bad, I am accountable. But what is right for us may not be for you. Only you can make that choice.
I am out of coffee so I'm going to go make another pot. If you want to talk more about this drop me a message. I'll grab a cup of coffee (when it is ready...hopefully soon!) and see what we come up with. I'm glad you stopped by to visit. Remember- You Are What You Eat!
Author: Kelly W. Sikes
Who is she? I am wife, mother of 3, daughter of 2 wonderful city parents, a sister to one sis, a home school mom, an office manager and a farmgirl!
Well, this really does not tell you about me just some of the titles I have. I am a 40 something girl who has found herself very blessed by where life has taken her ….to the farm kitchen! I am a fun loving girl who loves to be in the kitchen cooking or looking thru cookbooks or the internet for new healthy delicious recipes for my family. I am happiest when I have a spoon in my hand (and a cup of coffee in the other) and my 2 girls in the kitchen with me cooking up our next creation.
How she ended up on a farm……I come from a small southern town right outside Charlotte, NC. I thought I lived in the country! Until my college roommate, Jennifer took me home with her for the week-end. (I lived 20 min. west of Charlotte; she lived a 1hr. 20 min. east of Charlotte.) Wow!! What a difference. That’s when I really found out what it meant to be country. Rolling fields of corn, soybeans, and stuff I didn’t have any idea what it was (and still don't), then poultry houses after poultry house. It was not uncommon for you to go several miles without even seeing a house (for people).
A year later, Jennifer set me up on a blind date with one of those country boys……well I guess you could say I was blinded by love and fell head over heels for my true love, Gary. We have now been married for 22 adventured filled years.
Even though he was a country boy, we didn’t start out on the farm. We waited until 1996 to buy our land which is next to his family farm. We didn’t consider farming until 7 years later after Gary became sick. In 2011, we started Bountiful Harvest Farm. So here I am a farmgirl …….
What’s on our farm? We raise heritage poultry. We are a full circle farm- laying hens, breeders, a hatchery, chicken and turkey growers, and on the farm processing.
If you are still reading, I’m impressed. I don’t claim to be a writer. I’m just a regular girl who is going to share about life on a chicken farm, some of my favorite recipes and a few funny stories of my family along the way. I hope you'll come back - just grab a cup of coffee (or whatever drink your hand desires), pull me up and visit.