Here's a Food Thought

Kroger: Kroger sells canned food! No need to do it yourself!

Yeah, here's a food thought. (Long one, sorry.)

My grandmother, to my uncle's new bride: Never can anything that you can just buy off the shelf. Gramma spoke from experience, after decades of raising and canning their garden produce.

There's a big trade-off in that idea, it's true, but oh, that Economy of Scale! That same EoS is what makes store-bought bread instead of home-made so popular and fast food instead of home-cooking so successful, right?

Milady and I were practically founding subscribers to Mother Earth News life. We were all about fresh home cooking and gardening and canning and making bread and our own yogurt and...

Actually, when we started out, you could barely find good, plain yogurt or decent whole bread even at the "health food store" (with the nice white-haired old lady that smelled like B vitamins - the store, not the lady). By gramma's rule, we really couldn't find what we wanted on the shelf back then. Anyway, Milady is a master in the kitchen, and you cannot find anything equivalent to her baked goods or pizza sauce, or anything else, even today.

When we had the kids at home, to some degree, baking fresh bread was more sensible. It was even part of the Home Schooling. Now, with kids gone and just the old grumps at home, well, they deliver pizza, right?

(Thinking back, when the kids were young, we still lived in Chicago, and the EoS meant ordering in or dining out was easier. We went out for food we couldn't easily make at home. Gyros, tzatziki, baklava! But, three kids, mostly meals at home.)

Anyway, even before kids (last millennium), young couple us almost immediately experienced that EoS meant one thing: is this the best use of your time? What else would you do with the time you'd spend kneading or weeding every week? (Or canning.)

Having been infected with entrepreneurialism, what we'd really like to do is be on the other side of the equation. We've run food service now and then, but mom'n'pop style restaurant or small sprouts business is not much above home cooking on the EoS. Better to have our own brand, restaurants and store goods, with Milady's recipes! Then we'd be able to go to the store and buy it off the shelf. And she could experiment with new ideas at home, which is the best, and the successful experiments added to the menu and product line.

We haven't realized that idea, and may not, but I've thought more and more like that since we first baked bread together. So to speak. The Market for what we like is much greater today than ever, too.

Meanwhile, I'm glad that the Market means we've got fresh healthy eggs via a local chicken rancher, plenty of good "health foods" in the regular grocery stores, and of course the finest locally-grown grass-fed black angus in various delicious forms. And pizza delivered. Those ranchers and farmers and the pimply delivery kid with the battered vehicle, all save us the time and effort, and make buying more economical than doing every little thing ourselves. Which works for me, as we get older and as time gets tighter. And seems to work very well for everyone.

Until the Obamanation venezuelas our food supply....