I find it pretty educating. Or should I say I like the idea of growing our own fruits, vegetables and herbs and rearing our own livestock for our own consumption. And the idea of staying where there are more greeneries and fresh air. Hmmm, thinking of it alone makes me feel healthy already.
See the picture of my chilly padi plant? I’m a proud owner! My dear cousin takes care one! Hehe.
Just a few nights ago, I caught a glimpse of Oprah Winfrey’s show
. The program that night was all about Food, Inc. Documentary. It’s about the physical and moral costs of our over-mechanized, under-regulated food industry. Food today is boosting livestock with hormone injection or pills so that they grow bigger, faster and plucking fruits from the trees when they are still green.
From the glimpse of the program, I saw how chickens are being reared in confined space, having difficulties to stand up, move or walk not just because of the living space but due to the side effects from the hormone feed or injection. Such a pathetic sight!
What we get today for our food is what we ask for. In other words, supply is where demand is! People demand for more chicken breast meat; they will get chemically boosted chicken with fleshier breast meat! People want season fruits all year round; they will get chemically grown plants that would bear fruits all year round! People want fast food; they will get the fastest food produced in the fastest way! With plenty of preservatives and what not that will give more flavour and colour, lasting storage and quick cooking for the singles or all in a family.
Since there is no “moral values” supply in meeting the demand, is our own River Cottage the answer?
I remember one of our servants, who helped kill the snake at our porch
, planted four angles beans creeping the fencing at our semi detached terrace house in Johor Baru. Initially, we were very happy to see the plant flowered but after awhile when it flowered too often and too much, we find the four angle beans not desirable anymore. (Imaging eating the same beans for lunch and dinner practically everyday!) We started giving them away to the neighbours until they graciously refused accepting them. Sigh.
Raising our own livestock? I remember when I was very young, another servant used to buy some baby chicks home to rear it to full grown chickens. I was put in charge to feed them every day. I started naming the chicks. My favourite was Lulu (don’t ask me why I choose that name, okay?) which had golden brown feathers. Every day, I will pick it up to cuddle, stroke its head and sing lullaby for it to fall asleep (not my imagination lah!).
One day when I came home after school, I could not find it anywhere. When I realised it has been slaughtered, I mourned for two days! I refused to have chicken for dinner that night! How could the adults kill my pet chicken, lay it on the dinner table and expect me to eat it!
Remembering the above really got me wondering what the chances are for me to have my own River Cottage. Why do I say that? How can I tend, love, kill and eat my pet livestocks lah? But if we continue to live as how we are today, if we continue to eat what are being sold to us, if no changes are being made in our food’s life cycle, if we do not take control and make changes for ourselves, what are the chances of us living happier, healthier and longer?
Hey, wait! Maybe I still have a chance! Now I remember! I have decided long ago that I would be a vegetarian when I get older. Maybe, I will do so, sooner. I believe it is possible for me to grow my own fruits, vegetables and herbs for my meals. For all you know, I may even have wild eatable mushrooms in my garden! Hey, I do have a chance to own a River Cottage after all. All I need is to find myself a cottage by the river in a jungle. Hehehe.
See the potted plants? Will take them to “my” River Cottage later. They are the basil, peppermint, thyme and curry leaves. Erm, they are my dear cousin’s babies! She also has pandan leaves, lemongrass and aloe vera! All fresh from the garden, into the cooking pots, into our stomach!
Think you’ll be my neighbour?