“Most people don’t understand where food comes from,” Adam said. “One time I was selling chickens at the Farmers’ Market and assured this lady that I didn’t use any hormones, that my chickens were free range, and that I had killed this chicken myself. ‘You killed that chicken?’ she asked in horror. ‘How could you kill that poor chicken?’ Well, I told her that’s how we get food, that’s where the food in the grocery store and fast food restaurants comes from. Somebody raises it and kills it,” Adam stated. “She wasn’t convinced.”
Keith shook his head in amazement. “I explained where food comes from to my children when they were very young. One time, I served grilled salmon, which my children hadn’t tried before and refused to eat. I must admit that I teased them a bit by telling them a long story about the life of our wild-caught salmon.”
“Oh, please tell it, Keith. This should be good,” I told Adam.
“Once upon a time, there was an egg, one of many, many eggs laid in a fresh-water stream somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. It was very dangerous to be a little fish in that stream; only about 10% survived. After a while, our fish grew just big enough to swim all the way down the stream to the river and into the ocean, living in salt water for a few years. Then our big, grown up salmon swam all the way back upstream to lay eggs, jumping over waterfalls and rapids, swimming against the current for miles and miles, facing great dangers. And that’s when our fish was caught. This fish sacrificed a great deal so you could eat. Do you want a taste?”
“And were Gretchen and Alex convinced?” I asked.
“Yes, their eyes got really big,” Keith chuckled, “and then they asked if they could have some more salmon.”
On our drive home, we talked about cultures that have traditions about food and show gratitude and respect for food, about Hebrew kosher laws and the Native American practice of thanking the animal for dying so they could eat, of draining the blood “soul” and returning it to the earth.
The next morning, Keith and I ate pork sausage for breakfast. I’d like to say that we remembered to thank the hog, but we did appreciate that sausage.
Where does your food come from?