ON THE FARM: The importance of food

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By Glenn Ells

Food is a very big part of our lives. How it is grown, distributed, prepared and served is a large part of the economic activity in any society.

When people are actively involved during their productive years, good is usually taken for granted and is not of major concern to most of us. There is an abundance of food choices and many other things that claim our attention. During later years, food is very likely to become more important.

I’ve been reading during the past few weeks about complaints about food being made by veterans in an institutional setting. It is not hard to imagine how upsetting it must be to have very little choice or say in what one has to eat. It seems inexcusable to try to save on the cost of feeding these people when we owe them so much. When the three most important events of a day are looked forward to with apprehension instead of anticipation, something is terribly wrong. I don’t know where to point a finger, but was encouraged to read that the problem is being “looked into.”

I’ll be very upset if the complaints continue, because in my humble opinion, skimping on the food presented to veterans is not to be tolerated. “Looking into” the problem, but not correcting it, is just making matters worse.

I will confess that I feel guilty to be part of a society that allows things like this to happen. My guilt is increased today as I write this, while behind me on the wood stove, I can smell mincemeat cooking and hear it bubbling. I’ve mentioned before how Leta spoils me in so many ways. Preparing mincemeat using an old family recipe is a good example of this. Now that our children are gone from the nest, a batch will last two years, so I only get to snitch cherries from the brew every second year (Leta knows why I offer to help with the stirring!)

I don’t suppose that I would be allowed to take mince pies into a institution that “protects” the folks living there with regulations and rules about their food. “The food service contract forbids it” is a possible response to that suggestion. Well, the food service will have to improve or some of us will take up smuggling, because our veterans should be able to enjoy what they eat.


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