I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm. We always had fresh produce like tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, corn, peas, beans, peppers, onions, potatoes, apples, pears, cherries, and so much more growing in the summer and early fall. We raised our own beef, pork and chicken. We had farm fresh eggs almost everyday for breakfast. We learned how to preserve a lot of tomato sauces, jams, pickled vegetables, and we also learned how to make our own cheese.
Pretty sweet right? But for me, I hated it!
And as for the food? Sure, it tasted great, but I was actually pretty self-conscious about our homegrown, chemical free, natural foods, because it wasn't like the foods my friends ate. I remember bringing an egg salad sandwich to school for lunch one day. Of course, the egg salad my mom made was from the fresh eggs she picked from the farm probably that same day. Have you ever compared farm fresh eggs to store bought ones? If not, try cracking them both into a bowl and seeing the difference. Farm fresh eggs have a dark yellow, almost orange-like hue. They have a much bigger yolk, and they smell different too. And the taste? Well, let's just say I don't ever have to put too much seasoning on farm fresh eggs like I do with store-bought. And before you say anything, I know store-bought eggs also come from a farm (technically), but they travel over such great distances, over such a long period of time, that they really do lose their freshness. Not to mention the fact that you can never be sure how the chickens were raised and whether or not some genetic modification, or steroid injections, or chemical additives have been added into the chicken feed, or the chickens themselves. That all has an effect on what comes out of a cracked egg.
From then on, I really hated how different our farm fresh food was. I was embarrassed that our meat didn't come from stores, and I hated, absolutely hated, all the work that had to go into making our homemade sauces. (Weeding in the tomato garden, and slicing tomatoes in a big tub of cold water were not my idea of fun) I had no idea that the apple I picked from the tree in our backyard was far superior nutritionally than the ones my friends bought at the stores. Because all I could see was how it wasn't as shiny and red as those ones, and sometimes there were even tiny bug bites on our apples! (because of course, my dad didn't use any pesticides)
Fast forward to today. I am so thankful for my early years on the farm. Now that I've actually started looking at the quality of the food I eat, I have become increasingly distrustful of the growing practices or processing of foods at the grocery store. I'm so grateful that I don't have to start from scratch in making the switch to real food. All I really needed to do was go back home.