It's time to change the questions I ask about food. For several years, I've considered it part of my life mission to help people eat better and live healthier.
At the same time, it seems I’ve had an increasingly foodie attitude growing. What began as a simple journey toward healthier, less processed food evolved into keeping a pantry stocked with a selection of alternative flours, gourmet coffee, olives, imported chocolate and multiple types of salt, oil, vinegar, etc.
In reality, all that time my family food budget has been that of a middle-class North American family. If you look at the USDA Food Plans as an example, we most closely matched the Liberal Plan -for a family of 4- yet up until recently I've been feeding six on that budget. Unfortunately, now that we don't have a main salary, I must shave our meals down to the Thrifty Plan.
How had I escaped this truth? How is it that I rationalized luxury items such as grass fed butter, farm raised eggs and organic fruit and vegetables? I had even leveled up my style to include specialty super-food supplements to enhance my athletics; things like organic vegan protein powder, coconut water, electrolyte replacements and more! We have been eating like the top tier - ignoring the fact that our income had not kept pace with our tastes. And right now, we don't even have that income.
The time has come to adopt a rustic, peasant menu plan. To utilize cooking techniques I have learned from reading chef authors; ways to jazz up a plain meal without adding costs. Simple things like adding caramelized onions, and varied sauces. Efforts like these take time, knowledge and skill, but not necessarily more money.
I realize I've had an elite / elitist view of food. I have all-to-frequently used food choices to measure others. I have misunderstood and misjudged. Sometimes people are just struggling to have enough food - they are not even able to think about having “the right” food.
What do I do with this revelation? I am simply trying to learn how an average American family can feed itself whole, healthy food. How can we nourish our bodies and fuel our athletic needs from the basic grocery store? Can I learn this well enough to I help others in my station/class do the same?
Food cooked from scratch takes more time to prepare. It’s tempting to just put something out quickly to solve the “hungry” and not care about the nutrition behind it. Reactionary food prep. It takes time to nourish and not just feed.
That is really the essence of what I hope to do - I want to nourish my body, my family - not just feed us. To extent beyond just satisfying hunger, to nurture the soul. What a luxury.
For the common man. The common athlete.
Food for a common table.