Thursday, February 02, 2006

Healthier eating at last

My children will be eating a lot healthier now that we have been accepted into the community supported agriculture food basket program at Hardin's River Merchantile in downtown Little Rock. We get our first basket the 20th of this month and I'm really excited about trying all the naturally-grown foods and the antibiotic-free meat products.

If it were left up to me I'd just get the vegetarian basket but my husband is a true Southern meat and potatoes man. As he recently put it, "Southern people don't think it's food unless it once lived." He doesn't truly believe that, but I added, "Yeah, and they have to fry it to make sure it's dead!"

It's quite difficult to eat healthy in this area for many reasons. Everything is fried, and I do mean everything. It's very hard to grow anything organically because of all the pesticides used around here — a very flat area with rich soil, which means it's great for raising food but water stands and breeds mosquitoes and all sorts of other pests show up too.

On top of that, there is not a lot of knowledge on even how to eat healthy so a health food store is a rare commodity in these parts. The closest one is about 30 minutes away and is in a book store. It's a good place to pick up apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil and flax meal but that's about it. Another one about 45 minutes away, also in the corner of a book store, is a nice spot to grab a container of psyllium husks. It takes an hour drive to get to one with everything you need, and by the time I get the money to go I don't have the time, or vice versa.

Speaking of money, it most certainly is expensive. We cannot afford to eat like I'd like to — completely free of pesticides and antibiotics. But the CSA food baskets from the Little Rock merchantile will be a good start for us.

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