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Old 11-05-2006, 09:22 PM   #41
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You missed my whole point, Snoop. Who said "Reprehensible?" My Aunt Eleanor lived to be 99, most of those years living on her own (my Uncle died when she was about 90). they were farmers, and she was the best home cook, other than my Mom that I have ever known. I remember her, at age 92, remarking about how the chickens she now bought at the supermarket didn't taste like the ones she had raised. thought maybe it was her advanced age and reduced ability to taste. She was appalled to find out how those supermarket chickens were raised, and started buying from a nearby farmer, instead. I realize we all don't have those choices, but often it is just lack of information.

Sweetie, you are preaching to the choir. I'm a Senior Citizen.
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:28 PM   #42
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Then you will fully understand the difficulties some people face, sweetie.
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:06 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune
She was appalled to find out how those supermarket chickens were raised, and started buying from a nearby farmer, instead.
When I moved to my current apartment complex it was "in the middle of nowhere". There was a farmer down the street who raised chickens. I'd see them running around the front yard when I drove to work. True free range; I was always afraid one of them would run out into the road and I'd hit one. They didn't, but they came close. Unfortunately he sold out to developers and now there's a middle-school and a bunch of starter homes all over the place instead of the chickens and the cattle.

I'd buy direct from a farmer if I could find one nearby. Even the farmer's market at the Agricenter for fresh vegetables is a joke.

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Old 11-06-2006, 02:31 AM   #44
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Fraid... how far are you from a Whole Foods? they sell both organic and free range chickens. or you can look for Kosher or Halal chickens.. depending upon your area. both of those are raised sustainably and killed humanely.
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Old 11-06-2006, 02:50 AM   #45
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Quote:
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Fraid... how far are you from a Whole Foods? they sell both organic and free range chickens. or you can look for Kosher or Halal chickens.. depending upon your area. both of those are raised sustainably and killed humanely.
There is a Whole Foods in Collierville, TN, and I think there's one in east Memphis. I try to stay out of Memphis. Anyway, either one would be about 15 miles from me. The problem is I can't afford to shop there. But I'm not overly concerned about organic or free range, it was just a random comment.

Funny thing, I went to the liquor store the other day and noticed a big sign next to some very expensive bottles of vodka saying it was "organic". I just had to laugh.

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Old 11-10-2006, 08:06 PM   #46
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I've just revisited this thread, so I apologize for being way behind in responding to the previous postings about how much time it takes to properly care for horses.

I currently have 7, although 2 of them will be up for sale soon, as that was the plan. I grew up riding from the age of 10, & my dream was always to breed quality sport horses. Unfortunately, no sooner did I have that dream, than I took a nasty fall that fractured my spine, & a year later nearly severed my leg in another barn-related accident.

I still do all of the barn work myself - albeit with a back & leg brace - because I refuse to completely relinquish my girlhood "dream", now that I can afford it. What I can't afford is hired help - so I do everything myself. And while I freely admit these tasks are my choice (along with all our other pets - all adopted & unwanted), it does cut in to my cooking hobby. When one combines my tasks with my husband's irregular schedule (dear dear person that he is for supporting all this), I really don't feel like I'm sacrificing anything to the food gods by using boxed mixes once in awhile. Particularly when it's 7 p.m., I'm covered with wet muck, dogs want to be fed, & husband wants (& definitely deserves) a nice meal on the table. : )
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:28 PM   #47
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We used to use boxed and convenience foods quite often, but not anymore. For us the switch was motivated by both financial and health reasons. When my husband had to take a pay cut last year in order to keep his job, I learned a lot about budgeting and stretching our grocery $$. I can buy 10 pounds of rice or potatoes for the price of one box of Betty Crocker, same goes for dried beans over canned and freezing bread ends for stuffing over buying Stove Top. Second, for us, the salt in the convenience foods became a real concern. Now, it's been so long since we've used them, I wouldn't go back to them.
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:45 PM   #48
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Quote:
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...I can buy 10 pounds of rice or potatoes for the price of one box of Betty Crocker, same goes for dried beans over canned and freezing bread ends for stuffing over buying Stove Top. Second, for us, the salt in the convenience foods became a real concern. Now, it's been so long since we've used them, I wouldn't go back to them.
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:03 AM   #49
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I would be a liar if I didn't admit to using "convenience" ingredients, or methods, from time to time.

While I may tend to shy away from most - I'm not inclined to make my own "fresh from scratch" noodles for mac-n-cheese, raman noodles, etc.
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:31 AM   #50
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...While I may tend to shy away from most - I'm not inclined to make my own "fresh from scratch" noodles for mac-n-cheese, raman noodles, etc.
And even if you did, one could say that you didn't mill the flour yourself.

I forget who has the tagline on the order of, "If you want to bake an apple pie from scratch, first you have to invent the universe."

Still and all, there is quite a bit of difference between dried pasta and boxes of converted rice with dehydrated vegetables and powdered flavorings.

Agreed?
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:19 AM   #51
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Quote:
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And even if you did, one could say that you didn't mill the flour yourself.

I forget who has the tagline on the order of, "If you want to bake an apple pie from scratch, first you have to invent the universe."

Still and all, there is quite a bit of difference between dried pasta and boxes of converted rice with dehydrated vegetables and powdered flavorings.

Agreed?
Well, I agree. Even though DH and I raise an enormous amount of the food we eat, decades ago we drew the line with grains. We buy all our flour, brown rice, oats, corn meal, and organic if available. We are in our mid 50's, with no known health problems, are physically fit (though wearing out). Ocassionally some boxed food finds its way into our house. Like a few years ago we received boxes and boxes of cans of old dehydrated survival foods. The only product I can bring myself to use is the dehydrated milk. I still hang on to the dehydrated eggs, but have not used any yet. I am gradually composting the tins I am tired of looking at. Saturated fats and other undesirable things are listed on the ingredients and I just can not eat it nor serve it.
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:45 AM   #52
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Absolutly agreed Skilletlicker. As I said, I recognise I am more mouth than trousers, I regularly buy ketchup, worcester sauce, frozen puff pastry, pasta, I don't make my own yoghurt (Although I might start!) etc, etc. But I do throw together our own meals, (using these heinous ingrediants often!) and try and stay as far a way from the, imo, over processed stuff and prepared stuff as I can. It is simply a lifestyle choice. I do believe they are less healthy, again, a personal opinion based on how I feel rather than serious research. It so happens that my preference to eat in this way also allows be to follow other food/economical beliefs I have, in ethical rearing and trying to eat locally produced products as much as I can. I cannot say I stick to this rigidly, eg I had a takeaway this week, who knows where their stuff comes from and how much is out of a bottle....but I get better and better at it. The economics of it is also vital to us. There is currently a programme on our television by a guy, I don't know if people out side UK know about, he is called Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall, and he is showing he can cook everything ready meals/ takeawys etc provide with stuff bought organically and cooked "from sratch" creating a superior product for less money. But yes, it takes time, and even more than time, organisation. Its a personal choice.
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:38 AM   #53
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I've used a few of the boxed stuff (Zataran's is pretty good) in the past. 99% of the time though, I cook from scratch as living out in the sticks, you can't just go to the corner market, lol. I do used canned condensed soups at times and they keep longer in the pantry. Nothing wrong with either way ( scratch, convenience or a mixture or both) JMHO.
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:07 PM   #54
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The question was how do you feel about "boxed mixes such as for rice, pasta, potatoes, etc."

I think they are expensive, way too salty, ingredients are often unhealthy, and any vegetables that happen to be included have a weird texture. They don't save much time, if any, in my opinion.

If you make them from scratch, the time you spend waiting for the water to boil or pasta to cook can be spent chopping the broccoli or shredding the cheese. Either way, you have food on the table in 20 minutes.

For camping, they are ok, especially for backpacking or canoe trips where weight is a consideration.

I must admit to being a food snob--when the shopper in front of me unloads 10 packages of Uncle Ben's and 10 more of Lean Cuisine, my response is "oh, you poor thing, someone should teach you to cook."

NOT OUT LOUD--just to myself.
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:13 PM   #55
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What kills me is when someone unloads the boxed mixes and a case of soft drinks and uses a food stamp card to pay for it.

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Old 11-11-2006, 04:22 PM   #56
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I volunteer in our food ministry where people come when they are down and out. Lots of what we give out is boxed or canned, since we can't store perishibles. We also give out frozen bread, pizza and some meats. This has given me a different idea on boxed foods. Some of these people don't eat if we don't have the food, and boxed foods and mixes are what they have to use to feed their children. We also have milk in shelf packages. Many of these things I've never eaten but I'm glad they are available. I'm sure some of the people we serve would enjoy being able to use fresh food if it was possible.
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:49 PM   #57
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i grew up on tv dinners and macaronni & cheese with frozen or canned vegetables, as both my parents worked. i started cooking(?) when i was probably around 6 or 7. my culinary debut? a special treat for my parents of rice crispies mixed with peanut butter and sprinkled with sugar! they seemed delighted, but i wonder if they ate any of it? i was soon after introduced to the mysteries and convenience of boxed mixes. it wasn't until i was in highschool that i actually started what one might consider "real" cooking.

pretty much the closest to convenience packaged food i have are a few packets of various far eastern marinades/sauces: thai, vietnamese, indian, etc.

if i want ease of cooking, i'll throw a bunch of stuff into a covered kettle and let it stew in the oven for an hour or two. a few times a year, i'll leave dinner (and the dishes!) to my daughter. she's now in jr. high, but i started teaching her how to cook when she was 3. she could whip up sunday morning pancakes on her own by the time she was 4. that's my idea of convenience. lol.

ok. now let me let the cat out of the bag and the skeleton out of the closet! i've got a package or two of macaronni & cheese lurking in the back of my top cupboard. i might make some once or twice a year. what can i say? i grew up on the stuff!
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:32 PM   #58
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I've just seen this thread. Hmm. Boxed mixes, etc ( convenvience foods) hardly exist over here, so the temptation is not always there. Ramen noodles, however, are a big hit with my boys - who arrive starving at 1am...
I've never, ever had a box of "Mac n Cheese" - why should I want to eat processed cheese sauce when I can make my own in 5 minutes? (While the pasta water is boiling...).
I also refuse to accept the "I haven't got time to cook" excuse. That's like saying " I haven't got time to look after my kids". I'd suggest we all need to make time; it's relaxing and good for you!
However - I think there's one very important point to take into account; economics.

1) How much does a box of "Mac n Cheese" cost? (I have no idea)
2) How much does a small piece of cheddar cheese cost ? ( about 110gms - a 1/4 lb)
A cup of milk?
A pinch of sea salt?
A spoonful of flour and a spoonful of butter?
a 500gm packet of pasta? ( which will be enough to serve 5 people).

I'd almost be prepared to bet that (1) is a good deal more expensive than (2); and far more noxious to your health, thanks to the "processing" and preservatives added to the final product.

Yes - there are times when we're all too whacked or ill or just fed up and all we want to do is bung something into the oven and eat it. Fine. BUT - if that situation is the RULE, and not the exception, then I believe we're trolling down the wrong street.
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