Pick Your Poison: A Look at Urban Farming
“Pick your poison” the bartender grunted with half a smirk as he washed cups behind the bar, it was probably the most clever thing he’d come up with all day. I really doubt he knew how long that line would last in my mind. I must have been 6-7 when I heard it and yes, I was in a bar at that age… I grew up fast!!! Just kidding, in my backwoods town in southwest Wisconsin the bar was more than just a bar. It was the pool hall, the fine dining restaurant and in Mt. Hope WI you could get a quote on siding for your house from the bar owner!!
To “pick one’s poison” is just referring to the accepted fact that alcohol will kill brain cells yet is socially acceptable to drink. That being said, the bar isn’t the only place that we “Belly up to the trough and pick our poison.” We are constantly making unhealthy decisions, and do so knowing the consequences. My goal here is not to make you look down at widening hips or an extended belly and be depressed; my hope is to give you a nudge towards nutritional independence.
Nutritional independence is attaining control of your food supply. You walk into a store and are immediately bombarded with signage and words and colors psychologically designed to attract you to buy stuff. Even the regulated nutritional facts are delivered in the most acceptable pattern possible. Serving sizes are unrealistic to help you justify the goods’ consumption. Not to mention the controversial conversation about GMO labeling, miss use of the word “natural” and the mountains of preservatives that are used in these products. Packaging and placement play into you purchasing the product. These tactics used are not deployed with the intent to harm, but the intent to sell. You as the consumer are led through the store as if you were in the stockyard. The reality is you are in complete control… or can be rather!!
So how does one master their intake? My first suggestion is to grow your own. Too intimidating? I understand, but it is DEFINITELY possible and easy to start. Too much time to grow your own food? I disagree but again I understand. If you can pay for your food bill in under an hour’s work per day then, by all means, purchasing your food makes more sense, just chose it wisely. However, it takes me two hours of working my job per day to satisfy my food bill (before my homestead was launched). Now it takes me 20-30 minutes a night to feed critters and perform chores. And half of that is lollygagging around tinkering with stuff. With my rabbits, quail and other projects, I can feed a lot of people with very little work. Now my food bill is actually paying me.
I will not tell you that growing your own food is all gumdrops and lollipops, it can be kinda hard sometimes and stressful. You will make mistakes, be caught off guard and fail occasionally. Believe me; I know what that’s like. But you learn and you continue on. The skills that you pick up will continue to serve you and those you teach. You will be rewarded for the effort exerted!!
So when “picking your poison” remember that the dollar you spend on manufactured crap is a vote in their direction. If you take the time to grow your own, or FUND a local farmer, you are voting for a healthy change and nutritional independence.