what’s for diiiiinerrrrr?

September 12, 2013

believe it or not percy and tally already ask this question. i figured that wouldn’t come for a while yet, like years.

i should be happy they are interested in food and perhaps even taking over the cooking one day!  (in my dreams, right?)

having never been one for cooking, much less with coming up with something new every day it’s not a question i enjoy answering.  recently its gotten a little harder.  i refuse to make different meals for the four of us.  so what one eats, everyone eats.  i’ve generally made a few dinners a week of things that the kids like, and then interspersed these with things they may not be so keen on but that paul and i enjoy or would like to try.  as i’ve explained to percy eating bolognaise every nite of the week would drive me insane.  (unless someone else was doing the shopping, preparing, cooking and cleaning; then i’d probably eat the same thing forever just because i wasn’t involved in any part except for the eating.)

anyways, paul now prefers to eat following what is mostly known as a paleo diet.  i too see the logic behind eating what we have evolved over millennia to get the best benefit from.  namely what hunter-gatherer societies ate, or still do in remote and isolated parts of the world.  over the past few weeks our dinners have been changing to incorporate paleo eating rules.  this does however, with infuriating difficulty, cut out all grains.  my absolute staple, kids-will-eat food is pasta.  plain boiled pasta with a little butter on it if there’s no sauce easily to hand or to be made.  it also cuts out dairy.  now i know dark chocolate is preferable from a health sense if one must have chocolate at all (and what freak of nature doesn’t?) but i prefer plain, unadulterated milk chocolate.  MILK chocolate.  how can this exist without milk?  needless to say it doesn’t and therefore i will not be following a strict paleo diet.  i am also completely enamoured with eating porridge for breakfast.  yes, unglamourous porridge.  i find it’s the only thing i can eat a large portion of that doesn’t make me feel ill and keeps me full for hours.  i use whole oats, currants, low fat milk, a sprinkle of brown sugar and usually chuck half a tub of blueberries on top.  oats and milk.  these things cannot be hunter-ed or gather-ed.    hmmm.  on the other hand i have given up cereal and muesli.  which is no small deal for me.  for as long as i can remember i would always have a bowl of cereal for an afternoon snack.  arriving home from school mum was sure to have my only accepted brand (white wings, black box, forgotten the name) ready for immediate consumption.  over the years i’ve changed this to varies types of muesli and added many types of fresh fruit and finally settled on plain greek yogurt to top it off.  all gone.  i don’t really miss it either.

once i stopped to add up my meals i saw an awful lot of it was grain based.  oats, wheat, muesli varieties, pasta, rice…  perhaps cutting down this and upping the fruit and vegetable intake was a good idea.

grain agriculture is intensely mono-culture.  which is terrible for habitat, variety and healthy ecosystems.  equally tho a heavily meat-centric diet, which paleo obviously is (think hunter-ing of mammoth, bison, seal, elk, deer, salmon etc) is equally terrible in its impact on the natural world because of the way meat is farmed.  i read today that 70% of the grain grown in the usa is fed to feedlot cows and pigs.  apparently grain-fed meat is high in the bad omega 6 thingo and low in the good omega 3.  meaning paleo eaters should try to consume free-range meat.  do you know how much space free range animals, enough of them to feed a paleo-eating world population would take?  no, sorry, i don’t either but i suspect it’s a lot, lot more than there is square kilometres on earth.

the other factor in eating paleo is the expense.  christ, dead animal is expensive! so not only am i supposed to consume more meat, i’m supposed to buy the organic, free-range, tree- huggin’, triple-the-price stuff.

a compromise is coming to the fore.  the kids and i still enjoy our grain and dairy breakfasts, weetbix or corn flakes for perc and tal usually.  paul, when he has more than a coffee (milk!) has eggs and/or meat and vegies and fruit.  the easiest thing to pack in a school lunch is a sandwich, no argument.  our snacks have often been fruit based, when they’re not cake and chocolate derived, sometimes both.  dinners are now a mix, didn’t i say i’m not making different dishes!?  well, i make less of the grain because paul doesn’t get any on his plate, i get a small amount or none, and i up the vegetable count/quantity.  i think most everyone is happy most of the time.

the remaining two problems are how to pay for all the dead animal and how to get me over my dislike of chopping up dead animal prior to cooking it.