It was this time last year that I started writing this blog. At that time I told you a little about the reasons I began to investigate health and food. I had no idea a few years back what I was eating and what I was feeding my kids. When I began reading and researching, I could no longer continue to do what I had done all my life- which was eat like the mainstream eats. It became an ethical issue for me. Just like becoming aware of our sin makes us accountable for it, becoming aware that I was literally (this is not an exaggeration for emphasis, but an actual fair term) poisoning our family made me accountable for it. I could no longer continue no matter what. Finances were tighter back then and as I began to cross our food over, I prayed LITERALLY for grace over the food that was not the good stuff as I fed it to my family since I couldn't switch over everything at once. So since finances are such a big part of eating, I'd like to talk numbers because that seems to communicate some things in ways nothing else can.
First things first. I have one pair of tennis shoes, some flipflops, some slogger boots and a handful of heels from years past. I have my wedding rings, one necklace and one pair of earrings of value. We have no second car. Well, actually, we have a workvan that I bought from my brother, but it hasn't been running in months. Our truck is an '03 and is need of regular repairs. One season of my wardrobe fits in two drawers- most of it is comprised of clothes given to me from my sister. I sound really frugal, don't I?
Now brace yourself because you are about to puff up your chest with indignation. I spend about $250 a week on groceries. It is our second largest household bill. Don't choke on your Cocoa Puffs. There's more. I buy nutritional supplements (herbs and vitamins) monthly for me and the kids. I bought organic seeds for my garden and pasture. I buy organic compost and animal feed. If you add that all up you just probably came up with a second car payment, a decent wardrobe, and some shoes and accessories to boot.... and probably some recreational money.
In the scripture when Jesus is talking about the religious leaders of the day, he called them whitewashed tombs- all nice and pretty on the outside- in appearance- and dead and rotting on the inside. This was a spiritual lesson and his point was that they were concerned about how they APPEARED more than what was IN THEM. However, is it a stretch, since the bible says our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit, to consider in the same way what we put into them physically? PAUSE the thought... could it be that we have outsourced the responsibility of this consideration (so as to not bother our tender conscience) to the food companies who have whitewashed their food with packaging and promises and put death on the inside?
If you have yet to learn about the stuff in most of your food, you would be shocked, ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED, to know what it does to your body, and especially the growing bodies of your little ones.
My brother left a jar of pickles here and as I was cleaning out the refrigerator, I read the label... CARCINOGENIC FOOD DYES- YELLOW AND BLUE- (make green pickles, right?) in pickles.
I know we are all at different places with the laying down of idols in our lives- the pursuit of so many things that we believe will make us happy. I wouldn't condemn you for owning decent clothes or having two cars. But, please, consider first the value of the actual things you put in your actual bodies and invest in nourishing them. The design of how our bodies work make them warriors against sickness if it is properly nourished, but you cannot put sugar in a gas tank and expect your car to run strong, let alone for a lifetime. If you buy cheap food, you will be paying the pharmacist for prescriptions to relieve all your ailments...not cure, mind you, just relieve them. The medical industry is a multi-BILLION dollar industry and GUESS WHAT??!!! The same core companies that are manufacturing the food additives and the food, in many cases, are manufacturing the drugs you will need once their food wreaks havoc on your bodies.
I say opt out. Don't give them your money on the front end or the back end. Learn. Cook. Nourish. Grow some food.
I know my grocery bill is staggering...but it is about to drop significantly when we process our beef cow, pig, and start getting all of our milk products from Buttercup. The fields we had to buy grass seed for will feed her in the coming years and she will produce so much milk that she will help feed the other animals.
It is a process, but you can do it. And if you live in an urban area- do a container garden. Cook a lot. Buy frugally in other areas so you can afford the good groceries. Reduce your fancies and pay the farmer so you can skip the pharmacy and live a longer, healthier and happier life.
[postscript: There are many people who are struggling financially and just cannot make it work no matter how much they cut back. We have been there too. Just do what you can and be covered by grace.]