Wow! I am so amazed and impressed by some of the lifestyle choices and commitments described here. No wonder I like you guys so much! I wish you were my neighbors!
Well, in the first place, I have been hearing a lot about that Food to Fork movie - I saw that it was on Netflix so I guess I will have to watch it, although I am under the impression that it is an anti-meat movie, and that made me not-so-enthusiastic, because as a homesteader, I know the role of animals on a farm and therefore in my family's diet. I have seen and loved Food Inc, and I loved Barbara Kingsolver's book about eating locally for a year, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle."
OK so I am not nearly so hard core as the ladies above in regards to our diet. I do live on a small farm and I operate a seasonal CSA. We have a big garden, chickens, pigs, sometimes rabbits, etc. We eat all that stuff, they are not pets.
The funny thing is, as a result of growing so much of our own perishables, most of what I buy is processed foods and grains, like flour and rice. I don't need to buy much of anything else. I buy peanut butter and cheese and ketchup and cereal and stuff like that. My cart does not look very good if you ran into me at the store LOL. I do buy 100% ww bread, but I buy some white pasta and tortillas. Since we raise and butcher our own, we buy very little meat, usually only beef and we get that at a local store with a butcher or from a local grass fed rancher. I almost never buy chicken - maybe once a year, or less. We also eat very seasonally - not just what food is ripe, but also in terms of the kind of food we prepare. I don't bake in the summer, for instance, so we might buy more baked goods in the summer.
I do allow some food coloring - as in, we eat birthday cake, and occaisional candy, etc. We have got into a Gatorade habit this summer, that we have started to break. We drink very little soda, only when we are out (the fizzy settles their stomachs in the car). We eat ice cream a lot LOL (Blue Bell:) - just tried their new flavor 'Tiramisu' - yummy) and some cookies every now and then if it is not baking season. There have been a few bags of chips come through our door...
I am happy with where we are right now - I think I treat the grocery store as a tool, not as a trap. I am aware of many ways to cook and bake, use sweetners, make yogurt and cheese, pickle vegetables, and I can do these things or not as I choose, depending on circumstances. I am thankful for the freedom to buy readymade and processed food if I need to. I just keep trying to learn from everytime that I need to, and planning ahead to avoid or mitigate whatever the situation is in the future.
All that said, I do not have any family members with food allergies or issues. I know how fortunate we are in that regard, and I have learned a lot from reading about the need of others that do have these issues to contend with, so thank you to you all for sharing.