Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

  For awhile now I have been trying to change our eating habits and encourage my family to eat a little more healthy. This can be hard due to the high cost of healthy food and getting them to eat a lot of things they don't like or haven't tried. I will never understand why organic food cost so much higher then food made with tons of chemicals and preservatives. Here are some of the reasons I found for the higher costs.

  Primarily because organic growers still have to find alternative natural methods of discouraging pests, fungus, etc. which are more labor-intensive, so what you're paying for, is the extra labor…

  Also, without genetic engineering, organic produce may be smaller in size, yet require as much water, so the weight of the fruit. in the final analysis, is what counts, in terms of price per pound…

  Finally, the larger scale agricultural industry has been in place for sometime, and often receive government subsidies to offset losses due to weather, plagues, etc…while the organic farms, which started out more recently, on an experimental basis, are usually smaller scale, and they are on their own, when it comes to risks…                                                                                         

  While conventional farmers can use every acre to grow the crops that fetch the highest prices, organic farmers use crop rotation to keep their soil healthy. Instead of planting a cash crop on every acre every year, they rotate fields and plant "cover crops" that are plowed to improve the soil's nutrients for the long term.

"When you're rotating crops, you're not necessarily growing all your highest value crops all the time, which is different than a conventional system," said Catherine Greene, an agricultural economist at the USDA.

Organic feed for cattle and other livestock can cost twice as much as conventional feed, said George Siemon, CEO of the Organic Valley co-op, the largest organic farmers' co-op in the country. A ton of organic cattle feed can cost from $350 to $400 a ton versus $220 or less for a ton of conventional feed, he said.

So this can explain in part the high cost of organic food.

  Change happens slowly in this family!   I have looked at the food we eat and tried to determine what would be the best to change. We already eat wheat bread and I am working on changing them to sprouted breads. My three youngest will not eat white bread at all now. When I wanted to change from white bread to wheat I would buy a loaf of each and make their sandwhices sometimes with a slice of both and gradually changed completely to wheat. The next food I looked at was milk. We don't drink a lot of milk, 1 1/2 to sometimes 2 gallons a week if I am using it for cooking. Milk runs here from about $2 at our local walmart express to 3.70 other places. I started looking into raw milk for the health benefits and really liked what I found.

Here is a great article on Raw vs Pasteurized, be sure to ck the date it was written, it is just as true today as it was then! http://www.realmilk.com/rawvpasteur.html We started buying raw cow's milk from a local farm and the difference in taste was wonderful. I bought extra cream and we made homemade butter. I grew up on goats milk and wanted to find some local. In the store it runs about 3.69 a qt.so I didn't buy it except as a treat once in awhile. I found a local farm that sold it and we went for a visit. I was very impressed with their operation and how clean the process was. There it was sold at $5 a gallon which is a lot more affordable to me. Yes, cows milk is cheaper in the store but I feel this is  a better deal health wise for my family. My daughter Piper swore up and down she would never drink goats milk, but now will drink nothing except raw goats milk! If you do decide to switch to raw milk please be sure and ck out the farm, if they won't let you see how things are done and how clean they keep it ,find another farm to get your milk from.

 The next thing I looked at was breakfast,which everyone knows is supposed to be the most important meal of the day. Breakfast in our house has always been either cold or hot cereals, eggs, pancakes and whatever went with them. I have been steering the kids away from overly processed ,no health benefits what so ever,sugar cereals. We decided that pb and j sandwiches could be good for breakfast, pancakes with peanut butter on them or fruit in them are awesome, yogurt with fruit, fritatas,pumpkin custard,breakfast burritios,or whatever sweet breads that have been made,so slowly we are changing our ideas on what consists of a good breakfast.

  I have also been working on low carb cooking. With having a diabetic child carbs are always on my mind.

Tomorrow night I am going to make eggplant lasagna, using the eggplant instead of noodles makes it really low carb.

 When the girls and I went on vacation this summer I was struck by the differences in the snacks we bought from when we went on trips with the older kids. Now we buy gronala bars, fruits, veggies, water or jucies,back then it would have been sodas, candy and chips, I love the changes we are making.

 How have your family changed what you eat, more healthy, less? What is your favorite low carb recipe?


Here is the reciepe for the Pumpkin Custard,


    • Bake time: 1 1/4 hr at 325

      1qt ovenproof casserole


      you will need,

      1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree (or pureed butternut squash, or mashed sweet potato)

      1/2 tsp salt

      1 tsp cinnamon

      1/4 tap each of nutmeg,ginger,and cloves

      1 1/2 cup of milk (dairy or soy)

      1/3 cup of maple syrup

      4 eggs

      1 tsp vanilla


      in casserole, stir together the pumpkin,salt, and spices until well blended

      Add milk and sweetener and stir to blend.In a separate bowl beat together the eggs and vanilla. Add this to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg on top.


      Place casserole in a baking dish and surround with water to level of custard (if possible) and place in pre-heated oven. It is done when the top has puffed slightly or when a knife placed in center comes out clean.


      I didn't have maple so I used 1/2 cup of sugar, also it took a lot longer then the time it says(this time I put the temp at 350). You can have it for breakfast or add whip cream on top for desert! very Yummy!!

                Blessed Be,                                    

Views: 369

Comment by Rachel Hoff on October 17, 2011 at 10:34am
We just finished up our year without groceries and I kept track of how much money we spent. We ended up saving a lot more money (cut it nearly in half), however, we processed everything at home from making bread (a loaf made at home costs less than $0.50) to making yogurt (you get 16 cups of yogurt for the price of a gallon of milk).


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