“The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields and forests. It was in kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard” -Joel Salatin
68 years. That’s all. In just that little bit of time, less than the average persons life span we have gone from a world where everyone had gardens, or knew a family that did, local farmers markets were the place to shop- not a chain grocery store, to this all too fast paced and somewhat frightening existence.
Instead of encouraging its citizens to raise their own food our government has encouraged us to become dependent on it for survival. Suddenly as our world has become educated, progressed and fast-paced we have lost the charm and healthy environment that we had just a few short years ago.
Just a few years back moms and dads were at the dinner table with their kids. And we weren’t worried about where the food came from; it came from our gardens. Not many moms worked outside the home, they were with their kids. I am not saying it is wrong to work- I have to work too. But I am saying our priorities have changed.
Just a few years further back, in the pioneer days farmers were often poor. Crops were easily ruined because of drought, rain, fires, hail, storms, wind, animals, bugs. Farmers often grew oats, wheat, corn, apples, cotton, potatoes. They also raised horses, mules, cows, chickens, and pigs. They used livestock for food, sale, trade and barter.
The women took care of children, cooked meals, cleaned house, tended a vegetable garden, washed clothes, churned butter, and pretty much did whatever was needed.
Even the children had jobs. No sitting around being lazy for anyone. They milked cows, helped harvest crops, helped with household chores like setting the table,feed the animals, and many other jobs. Children did not have a lot of toys, unlike today where they have so many they tend to take them for granted. Most of their toys were homemade. Children were expected to be respectful and polite. Does that mean they never had fun or got in trouble? Of course not, it just means they knew when to behave and they knew what the switch was for if they didn’t! And of course there was school, mostly in the winter, when it was not planting or harvest season. They learned how to do what we used to call the three R’s: reading ‘riting, ‘rithmetic.
Did they wish sometimes things were easier? I imagine so. Where they ecstatic when electricity and indoor plumbing invented? I can hear the hallelujah’s in my mind.
But, I truly believe a home cooked meal back then was good and good for you with no additives or preservatives. You can certainly bet your bottom dollar the vegetables from the garden were fresh! And you can also bet the divorce attorneys weren’t in business either. Families worked hard, loved hard, and stayed together. Yes, life was hard. And yes we have a lot more knowledge now than we did then,especially medical knowledge. But we we gained all this knowledge and progress I think we really “threw out the baby with the bath water”. There are so many parts of the past we should have kept. If we had, we wouldn’t be fighting so hard to bring them back.