Parents Are Smart

When I was young I yearned for milk in a plastic jug.  2% milk.  From the store. With cereal from a box.

Instead, I had fresh, non-pasteurized, non-homogenized milk from the cow out back with granola from the bulk bins.

I craved bright green spears of pickled cucumbers plucked from the shelves of a grocery store but what I got was pickled green beans in a Mason jar from the pantry.

No Jiff on white bread for little Faith. My childhood version of a PB&J was natural peanut butter and homemade jam on a brown rice cracker.

The irony is not lost on me.  It’s not lost on me as I seek out grass-fed, creamline milk in glass jars to make my yogurt from.  It’s not lost on me as I breeze past the cereal aisle en route to the bin of oats at my local natural foods store.  And it’s not lost on me as I gather cucumbers from my garden and spend the afternoon turning them into pickles for the winter.

These days I don’t look back on my childhood as a time of deprivation (and awkward social encounters! Whole grain eating vegetarian in West Virginia in the ’80’s? Sheesh.) but rather with gratitude to two parents who laid a solid foundation for a life of great food and good nutrition.  Thanks Mom and Papa!

You know what else the folks were right about?  Things just taste better when they are from the backyard, made with love, and filled with quality ingredients.


  1. This little post is so beautiful. I couldn’t agree more — you were very fortunate as a child, even if you didn’t realize it then!

  2. jess

    I had a similar childhood. I now appreciate it greatly, like you, but there were times growing up that the teasing was unbelievable! Kids can be so mean. Natural peanut butter on rice cakes or wheat bread were things that no one had seen before! Even trail mix- which we called gorp. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thank YOU for sharing! I am also now super grateful to have been home-schooled through elementary school and surrounded by kids with similar diets so the teasing was minimal. In the end, jokes on them because we’ve had such great nutrition from an early age!

  3. What a lovely memory.
    I was *not* raised this way, but I look forward to raising MY children this way, as it is the way I live my life. Perhaps my future daughter will one day feel this way…? I’ll be that weird Mom. And I’m okay with that. It is interesting to think about. 🙂

    Mmm… share your pickle recipe?
    I do have fond memories of my Grandpa making pickles when I was young.


    • I think it’s much easier for kids with those parents these days, tofu and brown rice are so much more common! I too am looking forward to be the slightly obnoxious mom who brings the whole grain cookies to the bake sale. 🙂

  4. cameron

    I also had a similar childhood- my mother belonged to a food co-op, grew our food, and never let us have refined sugar. At the time I thought it was awful, but now I realize how lucky I was as I live/eat the same way.

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