Last night I was watching the TV and a commercial came on
that featured someone harvesting almonds. I looked at my husband and, in all seriousness, said, “Almonds grow on
trees?” He looked at me like I had just
asked if hamburger came from cows.
I honestly had no idea. I just assumed that peanuts, being the most popular nut, set the
precedent for all nuts. The fact that
we have hickory nuts strewn all over our lawn from the tree above did not even
register on my radar. I assumed that
all nuts grew under the soil. Upon
further research I discovered that peanuts are, in fact, not a nut at all, but
a legume. Who knew?
Making this discovery reminded me of just how far removed I
am from the origin of the food that I eat. If I were to glean my knowledge from experience only, I would assume
that beef came from a grocery store, neatly wrapped in cellophane; chicken
comes in the form of an abnormally large frozen breast with a lovely ice glaze;
and milk comes from a carton that is specially tinted to preserve
freshness. This is just the tip of the
iceberg. Even some of my fresh
vegetables come in a bag, pre-washed, so that I don’t have to go through the
trouble of rinsing them. Cookies and
treats are not something I have to make because Little Debbie and those Keebler
Elves make them for me and I’m so grateful to Uncle Ben for inventing rice.
How does this impact my life? It really doesn’t on any discernable level. It does, however, contribute to my sense of
entitlement and, in turn, my children’s. If I don’t make the connection between hamburgers and cows, vegetables
and farmers, and cookies and factory workers then I don’t ever have to worry
about how the cows are treated and slaughtered, whether or not the chickens
ever see the light of day, or whether or not a farmer can afford to keep his
land. I can just go about my business
and enjoy my 5 Minute Rice, Bagged Spinach, and Zebra Cakes. Yum!