The modern world is a wonder – humans have never had it easier.
We don’t have to hunt to get food – we just pop down to Asda and buy what we need. We don’t need to find clean water – it’s pumped directly into our home. Most of us don’t need to fight to protect our land, worry about being homeless or dread the coming winter (aside from complaining about the cold and rain).
This is all a good thing for humans. Just look at our population growth if you don’t believe me. Whether it’s good for the environment is a different matter (it’s almost certainly not – but that’s a topic for an upcoming post.).
But I think we’ve gone too far. None of us know how to survive on our own – and we’d mostly die off if we were ever forced to live off the land. There are people today who don’t even know how to cook their own food, or if they know they don’t bother.
Sadly, I realised a few months ago that I had become overly reliant on grocery stores and easy meals. I occasionally cooked, but it was becoming less frequent. I had no idea which chemicals and additives I was putting in my body – nor did I have any inclination to find out!
I decided that had to change. I wanted to be free from a reliance on store food – if not entirely, then at least partly. Here’s how I did it.
- Started baking my own bread. I have to admit that I cheated a bit on this one, as I bought a Kenwood Rapid Bake Breadmaker on a recommendation instead of baking in the oven. It’s still a wonderful feeling to eat bread you’ve made yourself though, I highly recommend it.
- Began growing a small vegetable garden. This is a project that’s largely on hold over the winter, but I managed to get a few tasty veggies before the cold set in. I’ve realised growing your own food isn’t really cheaper than store bought, but it’s healthier, tastier and decreases my reliance.
- Reduced meat intake. I’m not a vegetarian, nor do I have any desire to be. But I do think farming practices are cruel, and the constant supply of meat full of antibodies and other chemicals isn’t good for us anyway (plus it increases reliance on stores because most people can’t keep or hunt animals). I now don’t eat meat at home, although I’m happy to eat it when out for dinner or at a friend’s house.
- Cook more meals from scratch. I now try to cook every meal from scratch. That includes snacks, main meals and starters. I still have to buy the ingredients, but I don’t have to worry about what’s in the meals, because I know exactly what’s in them.
My dream is to own a smallholding that has the potential to be completely self-reliant. I don’t think I’d ever swear off buying food or other items, but it would be nice to have the option not to.
Over to you now: what have you done to reduce your reliance on stores? Do you even think it’s a problem? Let me know in the comments.