Even “organic” has limits

Bob gets a look at where the line might be:

A customer came up to my cashier stand at my weekend job with a dozen brown organic eggs costing $4.50. The woman informed me, without prompting from me, “These are worth every penny of what they cost!” I agreed, and told her I live on a farm where some of our hens are still giving us 4 to 6 eggs a day, even in the cold winter months. She was impressed, until I told her how delicious the goats’ milk is. She quietly backed away.

I suspect a lot of us would just as soon not think about where some of our foodstuffs originate — even the obvious ones, like goats’ milk. On the other hand, I am sometimes possessed of the notion that rather a lot of our processed “convenience” foods are actually produced at a chemical plant outside Secaucus, New Jersey, and require hazmat treatment all the way to the supermarket.


  1. OldTexan »

    2 January 2009 · 8:05 pm

    I am one of those old fashioned guys who likes to eat what I kill. My wife and I have the most wonderful venison this evening from a deer I shot last month. For some of us there is an appreciation for the critters that give their lives to give us food.

  2. Jeffro »

    2 January 2009 · 8:16 pm

    Back in my college days, there were a couple of sisters from Florida that were decidedly urban that attended the same school as I. They were invited to dinner at a classmate’s farm, where they were treated to fresh vegetables from the garden.

    Oh, but they couldn’t eat those – they were “dirty” because the greens were outside and in the dirt. Canned was ok, though, and expected.

  3. Lisa Paul »

    2 January 2009 · 10:08 pm

    She backed away at the idea of goat milk? Out in these parts they charge double for goat milk products. Ever heard of Laura Chenel Chevre?

    My grandfather, the farmer, used to allow my brother and me to name the lambs. Then next Easter we got to pick the one for dinner. A good lesson in where food comes from. We missed those lambs, but they sure did taste good.

  4. McGehee »

    3 January 2009 · 8:58 am

    I am one of those old fashioned guys who likes to eat what I kill.

    I was tempted by that philosophy once, until I realized I’d just spent the entire day swatting flies. ;-)

    Sorry, it was just too tempting to pass up.

  5. Andrea Harris »

    4 January 2009 · 10:12 am

    I’m urban (I grew up in Miami, Florida) and I’ve always loved food “straight from the dirt,” and I’ve never been bothered by knowing where the food I eat comes from. Maybe it’s because my grandmother grew up on a farm, and we were always going out on drives “in the country” to U-pick-’em places where we’d get fresh strawberries and tomatoes and things. I’d squat down in the field and eat the strawberries as I picked them… When we’d go to our grandparents’ summer home up in North Carolina, we were thrilled that blueberries grew right by the road and we’d just walk up and down picking and eating. Oh, and there were wild strawberries too, and a friend of my grandmother’s had a real apple tree which provided us with bags of real Macintosh apples. (You had to watch out for the occasional worm, but we’d just eat around them.)

    Or maybe it’s because none of my family members came from New York City. Most of the people I knew who freaked out at anything to do with the natural world either originally came from New York or had parents who came from there. They were allergic to everything, became hysterical at the sight of a lizard or a bug, thought of birds as “flying rats,” and were the pickiest eaters in creation.

  6. CGHill »

    4 January 2009 · 10:49 am

    I’m waiting for some Apple fanboy to point out that the Macintosh has never, ever been affected by worms.

  7. McGehee »

    4 January 2009 · 11:20 am

    When I was a kid my folks decided one day to raise rabbits — and not to sell as pets.

    I helped my mom butcher one once, and since I’d previously caught, cleaned and eaten a fish (by gum, I caught it, weren’t nobody else gonna get it) the concept wasn’t exactly foreign to me.

    So the idea that something I’m eating used to be alive and maybe even cute and cuddly doesn’t bother me. However, it may have contributed to the fact I tend to want to eat most anything that people think is cute and cuddly.

  8. unimpressed »

    4 January 2009 · 2:45 pm

    Though I’m not squeamish about where food comes from, I’ve never been fond of rabbit. I’m not wild about squirrel either.

    Those that have severe case of the Bambi complex, however, are just plain nuts. :)

  9. fillyjonk »

    6 January 2009 · 9:10 pm

    I’ve (tried) growing my own vegetables (I roughly estimate each tomato cost me about $5, considering my labor is worth $15 an hour or so, plus the cost of soil amendments, fencing to keep the ‘possums out, water, and insect repellent (so the tiger mosquitoes don’t bleed me dry while I’m weeding).

    I have no problem with “from the dirt” vegetables. Or eggs from a friend’s hens. And I’ve milked a cow (once, over 30 years ago). But if I had to butcher and (especially) dress and clean meat? I’d probably be a vegetarian. And yes, I know, that qualifies me as a Purebred Wuss and probably a hypocrite in some people’s books, but meh. There are certain things I let people better trained than I do – diagnose my illnesses, repair my car, fix my furnace, and kill the cow or chicken or whatever.

    One of my colleagues raised a steer last year. She reports she named him T-Bone, because she said it was easier not to get attached to something that was named after what it was going to become.

  10. CGHill »

    6 January 2009 · 9:43 pm

    “Named after what it was going to become”? I am so not going there. :)

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