It’s funny how your view of food changes when you start growing and processing it yourself. Not only do you become more aware of where your food comes from, and what’s in your food (rather, what’s not in your food), but you also become more appreciative of every tiny morsel.
When you raise a hen from a hatchling, feed it, water it, protect it from predators, gather eggs from it for a couple of years, and then butcher it, you are keenly aware of the life that has been sacrificed for your nourishment. It isn’t just a hunk of meat you picked up from the refrigerator section of the grocery store- a faceless, meaningless piece of meat… it was a life, a beautiful creature, and the meat from that bird becomes almost sacred. Cherished.
Wasting any of it feels like a crime. You don’t take it for granted, and you truly appreciate every ounce of the life that was given.
The same goes for growing your own produce. You put a lot of time, sweat, love, and effort into those plants. When you are finally able to reap the rewards of your labor, however meager they may be, you are truly thankful, even excited, about your harvest, and want to make the most of it all, letting nothing go to waste.
And now that I’m grinding all of our wheat- by hand– I have to say I am a thousand times more conscious of not wasting a single speck of flour. Grinding grain is hard work! If any spills onto the counter I am quick to rake it back into the bowl. And I definitely haven’t been flippantly experimenting with baked goods. It takes entirely too long to obtain that 4 cups of wheat I need to make a loaf of bread, I just can’t bring myself to waste it on trying something “just for fun”.
And I am sure that whenever we get milk goats, and I am the one milking twice a day, not one drop of that milk will go down our drain.
Yes, I have found a new appreciation for everything on my plate.
I’m not saying we never have any food scraps leftover. We do. But, they definitely aren’t wasted. What can’t be composted is fed to the chickens. Which, in turn, produce waste which can be composted and then fed to the garden. Which eventually feeds us again.
It’s a beautiful cycle. And I am thankful for learning it. But most of all, I am thankful that my children are learning it with me.