Feeling For The Amish

Now I know what it is like to try and live differently than the society I live in. Now that my family is eating real fats, not excessive sugar or carbs, and no processed foods we know what it is like to try to live outside the mainstream in America.

Amish modernity

Amish modernity

Eating out requires you to either not think about it, or to eat somewhere where you know that the chef isn’t using institutional products. Sysco provides a great deal of the foods that are prepared in the Kansas City area. Sysco provides industrially produced beef, pork, veal, lamb and dairy. Without further research I can assure you that none of the meats that you get at a local restaurant that are provided to them by Sysco will be free range, or grass fed, or hormone free, or antibiotic free. They will be, perhaps, the choice cuts of meats that are produced in the industrial system. They will be sources of omega 6 oils, instead of omega 3. They will contain sub-therapeutic amounts of the antibiotics that they give to animals in feed lots so that they will grow faster on less feed, to market weight. How do I know that my restaurant is using Sysco meats? I have to ask–it’s the only way to find out. However, if your restaurant serves grass fed meats, you can bet they would be shouting that out on the menu.

Changes in schedule can play havoc on my menu plans, too. This weekend I got called in to work at 3AM and worked for twelve hours. Going in so early meant no breakfast. No breakfast means that my body will begin to call for food, any food. Hunger is a trigger to eating outside the box that I have tried to contain myself in. Snacks that are available and at hand are difficult to stay away from when you are hungry. I am sure that it takes great willpower for my Amish examples to not indulge in modernity when they are completely surrounded by it. When it comes to willpower it is so easy to take one cookie and attempt to convince yourself that it’s not a trend. After the third cookie that self-deception must be acknowledged. Eating right would be a lot easier to do if everyone else did it too. Then there would not be cookies to tempt me if I didn’t get an opportunity to eat breakfast before a long work day.

Just try and find bread without artificial ingredients in it. It will not be in your grocery store. The raw ingredients will be there, but you will have to make the bread yourself. The same is true of bread crumbs and bread cubes for stuffing. There is nothing available that is just pure food. Every single choice is ‘shelf stabilized.’ This weekend we wanted stuffing for pork and had to settle for something in a box. After preaching since April (eight months) about not eating out of bags or boxes, don’t think that I didn’t feel some remorse at passing boxed stuffing mix over the scanner at the store. I wonder if the Amish feel this pang of remorse when they have to use an electric device, because there is now no other choice.

Living different is a twenty four hour a day job. Having to do other than the perfect way for a short spell, for a unique reason is acceptable, and unavoidable. Eating something that is not perfectly in line with the perfect ideal is no reason to stop trying for perfect. Being the best possible is the best possible approach. Giving myself credit for trying and trying instead of beating myself up for not being better prepared keeps me happy to be on the road that I am on. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Right, brother Johan?

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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