The Pursuit Of Real Food

The more that headlines such as, “Testing of lab-grown chicken nuggets made with 3D bioprinter will begin this fall” show up in the news, the more I look forward to a busy autumn; one packed with hunting and fishing, preserving and processing. Believe me when I say, not all advances in the world of modern food are bad – but for me, I’ll stick to my real, whole foods, please and thank you.

I’ll stick to the hours spent throughout the summer, on the water or on a riverbank, in search of a healthy variety of fish to get us through the winter. Let’s fill the freezer with chinook, coho, halibut, burbot and lake trout; let’s fill the pantry with canned pink salmon and rainbow trout. If you’re looking for “fast food,” there it is, canned right at home.

Fishing for food. Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.
Credit: Raeanne O’Meara.

Here’s to shelves filled with wild jams and jellies, that bring the distinct floral and fruity flavours alive on your tongue in the depths of winter when it’s hard to think of anything other than the snow that needs to be shovelled or fire that needs to be stoked. Here’s to hanging onto that last pound of huckleberries picked in late July, saved for just the right occasion because these flavours are fleeting and seasonal and once they’re gone, they’re gone, until next year rolls around.

I’ll stick to the hours spent throughout the fall, in the sunshine, rain, or snow, in search of wild game to get us through the winter. The ruffed grouse that turns into a delicious sweet-and-sour chicken dinner, the venison that turns into melt-in-your-mouth steaks, the bones that get turned into a nourishing broth to power our bodies through dark, cold months. Let’s fill the freezer with meat that never met a feedlot and certainly wasn’t 3D printed; let’s fill the larder with sausages and pepperoni that are made with real ingredients and don’t need a bunch of added preservatives.

Here’s to real food that has a story and a life behind it, animals that have been respected and honoured and utilized in their entirety. Here’s to learning to make use of the bones, the organs, the fat, and the hide, because there is more to an animal than just prime cuts that fill grocery store shelves and that animal gave its life to sustain yours.

So, the more that headlines hit the news such as, “Animal and plant cells to be used in bioprinting,” the more I look forward to another fall of sourcing our food not from a printer, but direct from nature – the way it is intended.