I got a message a couple of weeks ago from Annie Snead asking if she could interview me about “clean eating”. It was the second time in three days I had heard the phrase, but still had no idea what it was. Bill Folsom had told her I might be a good person to interview for her piece.
Step 1: Re-listen to the message. Attempt to understand what she was hoping for in interviewing ME.
Step 2: Google clean eating. How can I accept an interview if I have no idea what I’m being interviewed about? Turns out, I guess I do qualify as a clean eater.
Step 3: Call her back. Explain that, actually, I had no idea what clean eating was, that I had to Google it, and that we eat mostly stuff we raise ourselves (with the exception of the monthly box of Honey Nut Cheerios I buy for the kids and the daily ration of chocolate chips I eat with my afternoon coffee.)
Step 4: Accept her offer to be interviewed as a Clean Eater.
It is an honor to be called to get interviewed about something, and you sure hope you have something good to say when the questions get asked. You hope you don’t have food in your teeth or that you’re slouching too much, or that you say something that really makes no sense at all. And (note to self) you won’t wear a scarf next time.
But in this instance, and in one other that I’ll explain in a few, The Animal Whisperer and I find it interesting that we are already making choices for our family’s benefit that we learn later…have a title.
Title #1: CLEAN EATING.
We’ve been married for 14 years and we’ve (sometimes to our detriment) always had the I’m-not-going-to-buy-it-if-I-can-make-it-or-grow-it-myself attitude. If we see a painting we like…we never buy it…”we can do that ourselves!” If I see bread in the store, I don’t buy it…I can make it myself!
When we were buying regular milk at the grocery store and I noticed on the label it said it was distributed from Ohio (I live in Colorado), we though, MILK? From OHIO?
We can do that ourselves!
Since we can’t grow fresh tomatoes in the winter, we don’t buy tomatoes. (I’d prefer to steer clear of the mealy cardboard flavorless red orbs in the store anyway. They don’t even qualify to wear their proper name.) Since only our hardiest greens make it through part of the winter, we just don’t eat many vegetables during the winter. If it’s coming from another hemisphere, I’m typically not interested. But now I guess I’m straying away from clean eating and into eating seasonally….I digress. (Seasonal eating is a whole nother topic.)
Back to clean eating, the way I understand it is this: Don’t eat things that are processed. If it comes in a box or a can or a bag, don’t eat it (unless it’s Honey Nut Cheerios or chocolate chips). Eat foods that come from a source as close to you as possible. If you can’t understand the label…dare I say If It Even Has A Label…don’t buy it.
The Animal Whisperer and I have slowly progressed to the way we eat now over our past 14 years of marriage not because of any fads or titles…but just because we BELIEVE it is the right thing to do for our family.
Title #2: HOMESTEADING.
We moved to our 1.6 acres 5 years ago with only the intent to have a garden and some chickens. We’d never heard of the word (in its current use) “Homesteading.” We got our first two goats because we wanted local milk and you can’t get much more local than your back yard.
I started making cheese not because I was “homesteading” (or clean eating, for that matter) but because I had milk spilling out of my refrigerator. A true fact a new goat owner learns after one week in the business of milking goats for local milk. “Local” back yard milk does not stop flowing when you have enough. Thus, you must learn everything possible about how to use it so you don’t have to create space in your refrigerator by dumping the 17th bottle of milk over the deck railing. No, not Homesteading…just necessity.
Then reality struck. Big house. Big house payment. Little money. I started teaching classes in making cheese and milking goats to earn enough extra money to help us pull through until our youngest got into kindergarten and I could (grudgingly) go back to work. Teaching cheesemaking…not Homesteading…just necessity.
Growing our own vegetables? Our own eggs? Our own meat? Our own milk? We couldn’t afford to pay the prices for the foods we believed it right to eat (local, fresh, organic, small farm), but we could afford to plant and raise it ourselves. Homesteading? No, just what we believed was right.
But at some point, unbeknownst to us, we qualified in two high profile categories: Clean Eaters and Homesteaders.
In our minds though, we are just doing what we believe is right for our family, no matter what it’s called.
– The Goat Cheese Lady
P.S. Haven’t you ever wondered how to spell “a whole nother“? I didn’t think it was even a real word. I’m shocked to find out that it actually shows up in the online Meriam-Webster dictionary. Nother. Really a real word. Weird.
P.P.S. And, about goats in the city? Stay tuned, we should know if Colorado Springs approves it soon.