Tag Archives: Farms

Four Reasons Why Eating Healthy SUCKS!

23 Mar

When I was growing up, my parents owned a health food store.  They not only sold health food, but served it in their very own health food restaurant.  For many reasons, the business didn’t survive.  If you ask me, they were ahead of their time.  It was the 80’s, the age of Pepsi and Michael Jordan.  Nobody was concerned with eating healthy!  Well, nobody except my parents.  While the cool kids unwrapped their brown sacked lunches full of Dr. Pepper and Twinkies, I pulled out my all natural Hansen Soda from the first of its kind reusable lunch bag.  Yep, I was that nerd.  My parents were recycling and celebrating Earth Day like it was Christmas and my dad started composting back before they even had a name for it.  Instead we were just that weird family who put garbage in their garden.  Growing up with such Eco-friendly, health conscious parents could only lead me to one fate.  So naturally, when it was time for me to live out on my own I did what any responsible 18 year old would do.  I bought as much junk food as I could afford!

From HoHo’s to Ice cream, Lucky Charms to Doritos, I wanted it all.  These were forbidden fruits where I came from and I didn’t care what was in them, I was eating them.  Now, it took me years on this new found diet of mine to start reevaluating the food I was consuming.  It wasn’t actually until I had kids of my own that I began to resort back to the “healthy side.”

It’s no secret we should all be eating healthy.  The news is riddled with headlines of the benefits of having a healthy diet.  Hell, it seems everyday there’s some new recommendation of what’s in and what’s so last season when it comes to food fads: No Carbs, No High fructose corn syrup, no MSG, Gluten Free, All Organic, the Caveman diet, back to our roots, blah, blah, blah.  So, from someone whose enjoyed both ways of eating I’m going to go against the grain and tell you why eating healthy SUCKS!

  1. It’s confusing:  Remember when we were kids and we used to go down to the local farm and pick Doritos straight off the tree?  No?  Oh yeah, that’s because Doritos aren’t natural, yet pick up one of their packages and check out the huge “Natural” label posted on the front of it.  Whole Wheat doesn’t mean S—t unless it says 100% in front of it.  Cage Free Eggs translates to hundreds of chickens living in a tiny warehouse with no windows and crapping all over each other, but hey, at least they’re not in cages right?  It’s labeling like these that work to confuse us into thinking we’re living the Healthy way, but in fact we’re still not.  For more label info check out www.USDA.gov
  2. It’s time consuming:  I can’t remember the last time I made a home cooked meal for the family faster than I could heat up a hot pocket in the microwave.  Who wants to make homemade chili for hours in the kitchen when you can pop open a can of Staggs in a few seconds?  Eating healthy takes time!  Time to plan, time to shop, time to cook and time to eat.  Last I checked, “time” was something we were all short on.
  3. It’s expensive: I watched this show once called “Extreme Couponing” about people (mainly housewives) who rob the stores blind by taking home $500.00 worth of groceries for $1.00.  While I applaud their talent and effort, most of the crap they’re stocking up on is exactly that…crap.  I considered couponing once, but when I tried to find actual food in the coupon books I was at a loss.  Never once have I come across a coupon for broccoli or Pasture raised Eggs, but a 24 pack of Smuckers Crustables, where’s the scissors?  Times are tough, and we all need to cut costs where ever we can.  Couponing is a great way to save money and just another reason why eating Healthy SUCKS!
  4. It’s inconvenient:  Jack in the Box has a special right now “2 cheeseburgers for 99 cents.”  Seriously?  I don’t know about you but I can’t make 2 cheeseburgers at home for 99 cents.  And when you’re on the run and out and about, good luck finding a healthy fast food drive thru.  So now that we’re on the healthy side of living, if we want to eat on the go, we have to plan ahead of time and pack a lunch.  Talk about inconvenient.

I may have grown up eating healthy, but the word ‘healthy’ in today’s market is foggy.  Marketers use it to sell whatever they want and unless we have a PhD, figuring out how to read between the dirty little lines of the food labels takes time and effort that most people don’t have.  I’m not even going to get started on GM (genetically modified) food.  Oh yeah, those are out there.

So yes, eating healthy Sucks!  But despite all the reasons listed above I wouldn’t feed my family any other way.  What can I say, my body likes it.  Plus, I think there are a lot of other things that Suck even more: Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer.  We are what we eat, right?

Here are some resources I’ve found if any of you are interested in living the high maintenance way too.

www.USDA.gov :  this is the actual guidelines for labeling in the U.S.  You’ll notice there is no mention of genetically modified foods as there is yet to be a mandatory label of those products.

Food Inc. : Documentary of the production of our food in the U.S.  Informative and disturbing, but a real conversation starter!

www.localharvest.org  : Great website to find local farms in your area for veggies, meat, eggs, honey or farmers markets.  Just type in your zip code.

Eat This, Not That : books and a website with tons of information about substitutions and the dirty little secrets about the food you’re eating.

We are heading out to a local farm this weekend, Inspiration Plantation, to wave to the animals we will soon be eating.  Maybe we’ll see you there!

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Oh, the Places we Go…

28 Oct

Destination:  Sauvie Island Farms

Family Friendly: Yes

Cost: Free + what you pick

If you go: check website for directions, crop availability and hours

When I was a kid growing up in Bakersfield, we used to pile into the old minivan and head out to one of the many farms encircling where we lived.  If you don’t know Bakersfield, there were a few things it was never lacking: one hundred degree days, ants, and farms.  Our favorite farm was called Al Bussell Ranch and IT…WAS…HUGE!  Known for its “U-pick” produce, families would spend their weekends climbing aboard the many tractors driving out to the orchards growing a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Peaches, nectarines, strawberries, apples, apricots, corn, squash; you name it, they had it.  My personal favorite as a child were the bunnies.  They were everywhere!  Hopping through the fields, around the checkout lines, and some even in cages where you could reach down and pet them.  And these weren’t your standard, wild, never-gonna-catch-them bunnies.  These bunnies were well fed, used to people and to be honest, fat.  The farm also had one of those glass casings where when so inclined, one could watch the secret workings of bees busy doing what they do best…making honey. 

It was a cherished tradition of my youth, but I didn’t realize just how much I loved it until I had kids of my own.  I wanted them to experience the “U-pick” adventure; to see where their food comes from, to taste fresh blueberries straight from the bush.  And thankfully, living in Washington, there are a plethora of “U-Pick” choices.  But my new personal favorite is Sauvie Island Farms; located where else, on Sauvie Island (and no, this isn’t the crazy one with the haunted corn maze).  It is a large farm growing anything that will grow in the Pacific Northwest.  With more than 30 acres of Pumpkins alone, Sauvie Island Farms is spacious, family friendly, and everything one would want in a farm.

My family and I stumbled on it this year in search of a new Pumpkin patch.  Like so many families in the area, we used to go to Bi-Zi Farms.  But it seems Bi-Zi Farms lately has become, well…busy.  So off we went in search of a new patch to call our own.  We knew what we were looking for; space, freedom for the kids to run around, and most importantly, CHEAP.  The answer… Sauvie Island Farms.  With a small parking lot and plenty of extra wagons, we were greeted by a nice older woman who simply said “Welcome.”  There was no loud holiday music, no face-painting in the corner tent, or tickets to be purchased and then exchanged; simply the smell of hay in the autumn breeze and acres and acres of Mother Nature’s finest.

The boys had a blast running through the humble corn maze and climbing the hay pyramid.  We walked to the Animal Area where the boys got to feed chickens and bunnies (and yes, they were fat) and climb atop a large stationary tractor.  Then a real tractor offered an authentic hay ride around the farms.  With only five other families there, we had the hay ride all to ourselves.  No seats or benches, just a tractor pulling a trailer layered with, you guessed it…hay.  Then it was off to pick our pumpkins.  We spent quite a bit of time deciding on the perfect one.  Not because the pickings were slim, but because there were so many perfect pumpkins, it was hard to choose just one.  I finally settled on a pear shaped one.  So with our four pumpkins in toe we loaded up the wagon and headed for the end of the patch, where we stumbled across two pumpkins that had grown together creating the perfect Halloween butt.  So naturally, we had to buy the butt.  All in all it was a great day. 

 

Everything we experienced was FREE, except for the pumpkins which totaled $20.00, including the butt.

 

 

 

 

 So for you procrastinators out there, there is still time to get a true Fall experience before Halloween.  If you already have your pumpkins this year, no worries, they also have a Christmas Tree Farm.  For the rest of the year depending on the season, they have Peach trees, corn, bell peppers, blue berries, raspberries, black berries, zucchini, and many other seasonal crops.  For directions, hours, seasonal pickings, visit Sauvie Island Farms website.

Putting our BUTT to good use!