…we women should seek first the kingdom of righteousness in making ourselves efficient users of those things around us, things we can be bountifully supplied with at all times, before we aspire to become users of articles that come from distant parts and are not always easy to get.  -1905

Healthy food blogs nowadays have become a little wearisome.  The recipe looks delicious,  but wading through the ingredient list is complicated–

  • lard (home-rendered from grass-fed organic heritage pork fat)
  • milk (raw, organic, A-2 spring milk, preferably)
  • mayonnaise (homemade from organic avocado oil and organic brown eggs)
  • honey (raw, local) and my favorite,
  • pastured eggs (because eggs like to roll in the grass under open skies as much as anyone else!)

Anything less than the finest quality ingredients will result in irritable bowels, a leaky gut, gout, and cancer (or worse!), so we’re told.

Of course we want to provide our families the best of everything.  But sometimes, the best is cost-prohibitive, out of season, or simply not easily available to us.  If we could afford it, I don’t think any of us would decline a juicy, garden-grown tomato for one of those dry, tasteless ones shipped from parts unknown in the winter.   It’s not as if we intentionally bypassed all the cheap, raw, grass-fed milk available at every convenience store in town and drove to the next county to buy a farmer’s expensive pasteurized, homogenized, antibiotic-laden skim milk.  Only in recent history have we had access to food sourced from all over the world.

We women often feel pressured to supply our families with the very best quality ingredients at any cost.  To those of us struggling to maintain grocery budgets, health experts advise, “What you don’t spend in quality food now, you’ll spend in medical bills later!”  How discouraging is that?  I hardly think that a cause of death has ever been attributed to “consumption of imitation vanilla” or “a chia seed deficiency.”  Stress causes health problems, and maybe the pressure to eat perfectly increases stress?

No one can guarantee a formula for perfect health.  In ancient times, absolutely everyone ate organic, free-range, non-GM food, but Jesus had no end of people that needed healing and Hippocrates had enough business that he became the “father of medicine.”

Take heart, housewives.  We’re all doing the best that we can in our own way.  Don’t feel guilty or be made to feel that you love your family less because you don’t have the resources someone else does.  The American pioneer women didn’t have cassava flour, quinoa, avocado oil, or even name-brand essential oils tucked into their covered wagons, but they managed to muddle through life fairly well.  They made the most of the limited variety available to them.  It must have been adequate, because thanks to them, many of us are here now.

It’s very simple, really.  Learn the basic principles of cooking and eating healthily and be content with doing your best.

8 thoughts on “Using What We Have on Hand

  1. Good counsel on a subject that is being driven into the ground the past decade. I try to feed my family the healthiest foods I can, but I don’t turn my nose up when a friend who is moving brings me a big box of less than organic food–I find ways to incorporate it into a meal with better food. A box dinner mix occasionally won’t do irreparable harm. his is a great blog–filled with old time wisdom, yet realistic for today’s homemaker.

    1. Thanks so much for your compliments! Yes, I agree. I think we all need to take a deep breath and be realistic about food.

  2. One little hint to those who are struggling. Try and buy veggie and fruit that are in season. That’s when they are cheapest. Here in my part of Australia the Avocados, although they are in season are $4 each at the moment. That would be equivalent to about $7 in your money, so I don’t use them in my salads. I use herbs from my garden to make things a bit tastier.
    Thank you for reminding us that we can still be healthy without all those exotic expensive food items.

    1. That’s a good reminder! It takes planning to stock up when produce is in season. Right now in the U.S. bell peppers are ridiculously expensive so I’m hoping the extra peppers from last year’s garden that I chopped and froze hold out for another few months.

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