I have been a bit MIA lately, but for good reason…I went on a little vacation, Chuck’s family reunion, to a small farm town near Columbus, OH. The farm house, nestled on acres and acres of soy bean crops, is over 100 years old and almost all of the furnishings are too…and that’s the way they like it. This was an interesting trip because it was not my family, it was Chuck’s family that I was meeting for the first time and it was on a soy bean farm.
Fortunately, I have spent time with Chuck’s mom and she is aware of our dietary lifestyle so was able to “prep” the rest of the family before we got there. Chuck’s aunt was very upfront and told me off the bat that the soy bean seeds are not organic and are, in fact, Monsanto Round Up Ready soybeans. I even got to see the bags of seeds in the shed. It was an interesting experience for me because I read so much information regarding soy, Monsanto and GMOs in general, and to be able to see them in real life was a bit surreal (and kind of awesome).
Dinner the first night was a bust…there was no way Chuck and I were going to avoid the chicken enchiladas: corn tortillas, chicken, cream of mushroom soup and loads and loads of melted cheese. Of course dinner would not have been complete without the flour tortillas cut into triangles, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and baked until golden brown. Yeah…we just looked at each other, promised “tomorrow will be better” and dove in head first and it was amazing, I am not going to lie. The next day, as promised was a bit better, not perfect, but better…
We were able to get access to a car and go to the store. We picked up some bacon, eggs, lunch meat, lettuce, olives, avocados, broccoli and fruit. Chuck had bacon, eggs and fruit for breakfast. I had bacon, avocado and fruit (still not eating eggs). Lunch was easiest, we made lettuce sandwiches with the lunch meat, lettuce, avocados from the store and tomatoes and cucumbers from the farm. I forgot to mention, in addition to the soy bean crops, Chuck’s aunt has her own “personal” garden which she says is organic. I, of course, didn’t argue the fact that the wind probably blows a bunch of the Round Up on her garden…I didn’t think that would be polite of me. I was proud of us when it came to dinner. They made some sort of white sauce and spaghetti noodles. We did eat the white sauce (remember, we promised better, not perfection) but poured it over the broccoli instead of the noodles. It was rather tasty. Oh’ they also served a HUGE loaf of garlic cheesy bread, which we both stared at, but did not indulge in.
The next day breakfast and lunch were the same, but dinner was even better. I had an opportunity to tag along to a farmers market where I found a farmer who sold grassfed AND finished ground beef. I was so happy, she even had a display explaining WHY grassfed/finished is better for us. I was so proud! I found another farmer who sold gorgeous onions, swiss chard and tomatoes so we had hamburgers for dinner. One of Chuck’s aunts took a bite and was amazed at how good it tasted…another aunt said she could not taste the difference.
Our last night was probably the best night. The whole family went out to a Mexican restaurant in Columbus. Have you ever been to a restaurant and your waiter ends up being amazing? Well, it happened to us. First, one of the cousins ordered a cheese enchilada. The waiter, being perceptive, informed her that the sauce had meat in it. I use to be a vegetarian and I can’t tell you how many times I ordered something meatless, but the sauce was loaded with meat. I know it seems logical, but trust me, it is rare to find a waiter who gets that. Next, Chuck and I ordered chicken, steak and shrimp fajitas, no tortillas, no rice, no beans, extra veggies. Again, the waiter impressed me and asked if we wanted lettuce in replace of the tortillas! I could not believe it! Heck yeah we do! I wish I could say I thought of that myself, but I never even put that together. Dinner was amazing!
I have so much to share about this trip, but I am trying to keep it short(ish). In general, the amount of SAD “food” that was consumed was truly, well, sad. I am not saying this to be all judgy, I am saying this because it was not long ago that I thought what I was eating was food too. I truly believe it is an issue of just plain not knowing and deception by fancy marketing.
Lastly, I wanted to share this because we were in a situation where we had little to no control over what we were served, yet we made the best of it and I hope this inspires someone else who may find themselves in a similar situation. Do the best you can…