Don’t take simple foods for granted

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 16, 2018

I’m a lot like the rest of the population in this country. I have little to no idea where our food really comes from and how it is produced before I take it off the shelf of a grocery store and head to the checkout line.

However, I have been lucky enough to see some of the methods of food production in action. While in high school, I was fortunate enough to take a class that taught us how to process animals into the meat products we buy from the grocery store.

It was an eye opening two years. While I knew that cows had to be harvested in order to enjoy a steak or hamburger, before taking that class I was ignorant to the challenge involved.

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Friday, I got another lesson in food production, how grits are produced. Before that experience, I never put any thought into how this tasty breakfast food was processed. Usually I’d just order some up, being sure to add cheese and pepper, never giving a second thought to what came before.

Even more intriguing from Friday’s experience was the realization that just like grits, most food items were not found on the shelves of grocery stores, every aspect of that dish was made at home, down to the corn flour.

Today, when we want fried fish we simply go to the store and buy the ingredients. If I’m feeling really lazy, I go to a restaurant.

But years ago, people didn’t have that much money, so they made everything at home.

If you wanted fried fish, you not only had to catch the fish and clean it, you had to make the corn meal from scratch. To do that, you needed a grist mill and a way to power it.

Even after watching a grist mill being set up at the Shaw Homestead, I have a vague idea of how to operate one.

I hope I get more opportunities to learn how things were produced before technology took over our lives.