Over-Sensitized Consumers

Desensitizing. It sounds a bit militaristic. I have seen this word used over and over again in reference to killers, terrorists, and those of us who consume meat in a balanced diet. The theory is that those who are constantly around perceived objectionable practices tend to lose their disdain for them. In other words, if you grew up hunting for food, you do not feel as ashamed as others wish you did. You are desensitized to the violence known as feeding yourself. I have some bad news for the self-sufficient. This is not a theory, but a fact. We can trace this effect through past generations, and see a startling reality about food perceptions.

We, who live on this planet as a combined group of beings who consume food to live, are gradually painting ourselves into a proverbial corner. I can be condemned for eating an apple. "Sorry, no, it was not organic". What a self-aggrandizing world do we live in. A generation ago folks pealed an apple, cut out any worm holes, bruises or defects, and ate what was left. Today, those of us who eat apples grown by conventional methods are prompted to feel beneath those who only eat a couple of untouched, pristine apples from the top of each tree. As far as they are concerned, the rest are good for compost piles.

nuggetWhen you buy chicken at the store, is it in the form of fillets or boneless skinless breasts? Have your kids ever eaten bone-in meat? Many haven't. They would be appalled to realize that chicken comes from a...um... chicken. My young niece recently declared her affinity for chicken nuggets. "What part of the chicken is that", I asked. After a short sidebar with her older sister, she exclaimed, "His nuggets!"  Funny? Yes. I decided to drop the explanation until she is substantially older.

A woman recently filed a lawsuit because there was a skinned chicken foot in her store bought boneless-skinless chicken breast package. She claimed mental anguish and an inability to ever eat chicken again. The case should be thrown out. She couldn't eat chicken to start with! My grandmothers, aunts and uncles gnawed a chicken until there was nothing left but the cackle. We need to shed this belief that good food is only available after it has been industrialized.

porksteakThere is a solution. Summer is here. Instead of feeding your kids flavored yogurt and mystery meat with a brown-crust-flavored substance, toss some pork steaks or chicken thighs on the old BBQ grill. (these are still some of the cheapest proteins out there) It doesn't have to be everyday, but think of the stir you will cause in the neighborhood when that seared chicken and hickory smoke smell wafts through the sub-division. Folks will step outside and warily aim their jealous noses into the wind. More importantly, you will be passing on an appreciation for real food to the next generation.