Mom’s Beans

One day not too long ago during a particularly delicious meal prepared by my eighty-something mom, I asked her how she’d cooked the beans.

“Bacon grease,” she said. “…and plenty of salt, on a low simmer all afternoon.”

She’d come full circle, at least on the beans. There was a long while there when this would not have been her answer. If you’ve been around for the last fifty years or so, you can relate to the decades of having them lightly steamed with no salt or butter. That oily concoction from the plastic tub with a list of unpronounceable ingredients covering half the container however, was fine. Better for your heart we were told.

It was the same with pretty much all the vegetables, unless you ate them raw. The fact that most of these “fresh” things were flown in from foreign shores or shipped from across the country didn’t seem to matter. We hadn’t even learned yet how devoid of nutrients it had all become because of our farmland’s pervasive soil degradation. We were supposed to stuff ourselves with multiple servings a day along with tons of whole grains (IBS anyone?) but of course real food flavor enhancements such as olive oil or butter were discouraged. That stuff would clog your arteries. Better to go for the “low fat” bottled dressings made with factory produced industrial vegetable oils that would help lower your cholesterol because fats were bad for you.

Well known statistics regarding our nation’s overall health gives us a big hint as to how well all of this has worked.

In our own family’s food journey since those days we have moved away from many of these conventions, influenced by the research of Dr. Weston A. Price and the good work of the WAPF, Sally Fallon, Mary Enig, Loren Cordain, Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson and others who have presented a different view on the science that created a generation of fat and “real food” phobia. We now enjoy many foods we once avoided yet we are keenly selective when it comes to source and quality. Our daily real food staples include grass-fed butter, lard for baking (yes LARD!), sea salt (essential minerals intact) whole raw milk (legally sourced), fresh eggs from our own backyard chickens (as many as we want to eat!), grass-fed beef, pastured free-range pork and chickens and as much fresh produce from our own garden and our neighboring farm community as we can handle. We are big fans of fresh picked, home canned, cultured, sourdough, fermented–superfoods of all kinds! *

We feel this is an important piece of our slow living goals, to be thoughtful and intentional about the food we eat and be willing to give it the time it takes to procure and prepare it. You don’t have to be on a farm to choose real food. The movement has grown because consumers are becoming more informed and have demanded the increased availability of local, sustainably sourced produce, meat and dairy. The value of transparency in production, processing and even packaging is beginning to compete with the rules of convenience. 

It’s the same with the clothes we choose to wear, which is how Lady Farmer came to be (and why we’re launching a Kickstarter Fundraising Campaign on September 28th!) We care about what we put on our bodies, where it came from, who made it, what’s in it. Consumers are beginning to recognize (and care!)  how much this impacts our lives every day.  The more you exercise your power of choice in these matters of our basic human needs, the better it is for all of us.

We’d love to hear your own thoughts and experiences about conventional dietary advice and the “real food” revolution.

In the meantime, if you’d like to cook some delicious green beans Lady Farmer style, this is how my mama does it.  

  1. Get them as local and fresh as possible
  2. Snap off the ends and string them
  3. Put them in a pot with a tablespoon (or two) of bacon grease and sea salt to taste.
  4. Cook ‘em low and slow all afternoon.
  5. Enjoy as part of a delicious REAL food meal! (You know what I’m talking about.)

*This goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway. Every one must make their own decisions regarding diet. We are NOT physicians or nutritionists so don’t take our word for it.  If you haven’t already, read up on all of these things (see some links above) and let us know what you think. Discussion is welcome and of course, consult your healthcare professionals.