Real Food


I hate vitamin supplements.

Well, I don’t hate them, but the evidence indicates that they are not necessary for most people in first world countries under most circumstances.

We used them in a hospital setting, but that was with people who were already ill.

There are diseases that can cause vitamin deficiencies. My mother is a good example. She is a celiac.  Not the fake “I’m gluten-sensitive” currently popular type, but the real deal. She was celiac long before being gluten-intolerant was cool.  In addition, she contracted non-tropical sprue (an intestinal disorder) just after World War II when she was en route to the United States on a bride ship from Australia.

The doctors had no idea what was wrong with her. They didn’t know about either condition. One specialist told her she probably had leukemia.

At any rate, as a result, she became very deficient in Vitamin B-12 and had to take shots. I remember her doing this when I was a child.  She gave them to herself which always fascinated me.

When I went to nursing school, I bullied her until she went to see an internist I knew and he diagnosed her as celiac just from a  brief conversation (later confirmed with actual tests).  Her gut began to heal and she no longer needs the vitamin shots.

So that’s an example of a necessary use of vitamin supplementation.  Pregnancy is another. (Folic acid tablets are simply too easy and cheap to risk spina bifida by not doing it.) But most people don’t need them. As one of my doctor friends used to say, all people are doing is creating very expensive urine. That is because the usual first-world diet has all the vitamins and minerals any human being needs.

So here I agree with Nicole.

I will pause for a moment while you pick your jaw up off the floor.

Eat real food.

But then she just drives right off the cliff.

“Real food.”

There are two big problems with her statement.

First Problem:  Nicole is the biggest hypocrite on the planet.


Chocolate cake for breakfast.  It’s obvious that 13 people didn’t have chocolate cake for breakfast unless she bought six of these, so one assumes that Nicole bought it and hoarded it for herself, but still, she had cake for breakfast and dares anyone to criticize her.

For the record, as you’ll see, I’m not critical of her choice. I’m critical of her bullshit hypocrisy.


See? They’re at Hardee’s, having “real food.”


They go there a lot, as you can see.


She’s gonna go get her a nice gyro.  “Real food” from the takeout place.


Here’s some “real food.”  How much do you bet she bought this someplace?  We have ice cream here too.  Sometimes we buy it, but often we make it from our cow’s cream.


And she starts them young with that “real food.”  Super nachos from Hardee’s.


Just so you know, Alex Jones is a blithering idiot and ninety percent of the stuff from his site is total bullshit.  “Chemicals” in soft drinks are fine. They are not “habit forming” or “addictive.”  The problem with too many soft drinks is too much sugar.


If that is the case, why in the world do you post shit like this, Nicole?


It’s quite true that nicotine and caffeine and alcohol are all mind-altering drugs.  (I’m not sure why the Mars bar is there, except for the idea that somehow sugar is bad, which it is not – unless they are representing chocolate, and Nytol and Ritalin aren’t pretending to be anything at all other than drugs, one by prescription and the other over the counter).

I don’t consume caffeine in very large quantities because I have a problem with rebound headaches if I do.  It’s present in chocolate, but in small quantities. And alcohol, while it is a drug, is nice in small amounts and I partake from time to time, but have rarely been drunk.

However, there is no evidence, zilch, nada, that would suggest that if you use alcohol or caffeine or nicotine, you are somehow going to progress to other drugs.  None of those substances could remotely be considered a “starter kit.”  This is nonsense.

And that leads me to the second point.

Second Problem:  What in the hell is “real food”?

Nicole loves to talk about this. She likes it because it’s all healthy and homesteady and it makes her sound like Earth Mother.  Everyone nods sagely and agrees.  “Just eat real food.”

When people say this, I tend to exit the conversation because what is going to follow is complete bullshit.

What most people mean when they say “eat real food” is “don’t eat processed foods.”

But that leads directly to another question.  What are “processed foods”?

If you look up the definition of the term, you’ll find stuff all over the map.


So from this definition, which is not really very accurate (more in a moment about that), we get two main things: packaged in something, and contains the dreaded chemicals.

Exactly how are you supposed to get your food home from the store if it’s not packaged in something?  Even if you buy fresh produce, they put it in a bag.

Chemicals.  Sigh.  Everyone has spasms about chemicals. Salt is a chemical, folks.  Sugar is a chemical compound.  You are a bunch of chemicals.

Some artificially produced chemicals are very dangerous indeed.  For example:  ethylene glycol. That’s the stuff in anti-freeze. Don’t let your pets near it.  Some artificially produced chemicals are preferable to their “natural” counterparts:  melatonin, for example (“natural” melatonin can be toxic, artificial melatonin is much safer, if you’re going to take that shit, which I do not.)

Chemical is not a dirty word.

click image for link to source

So here’s a better definition of the term.  “Processing” is whatever you do to food before you eat it.


Here’s some peaches being processed, put in cans so people can store them on the shelf for a considerable length of time.


And here’s some serious food processing:  cheese. The factory takes milk and adds some chemicals (rennet, which by the way is almost entirely GMO in America and has been for decades, and salt), heats it slowly and then presses the hell out of the curd that results.

These are processed foods.


So are these.

The difference is that the last picture was taken by me in my kitchen of my canned peaches and my cheese.

There is virtually no difference nutritionally in my processed food and the photos of the factories above.  None.

If you take a tomato and slice it, you have processed it.  Here I am, processing some meat.


But, you say, that’s not what people mean when they talk about “processed food.”

I know.

They mean this.


I blew that photo up and tried to identify some of the foods that are in it, and was surprised to see Jif. It made me laugh.

Peanut butter is the food that held me together when I was a kid. I love the stuff.  I still eat it often.  And I have eaten every kind of peanut butter there is, creamy, crunchy, “natural,” “processed,” homemade from peanuts that we grew ourselves.  All of it.  I love it no matter what, but I greatly prefer the processed stuff because it spreads better.

They also have Kraft Singles in there. You know, cheese.

Oh, and Wonder Bread, as though that is really bad.


Here’s a loaf of my bread. To make it, I begin by grinding whole wheat berries into flour. That’s called “processing,” by the way.  When I mix up the loaf, I put chemicals in it.  I add salt, gluten flour, and something called “dough conditioner.”


That’s what is in it.  I use very little (that 3 tsp serving size is for a whole loaf of bread).  It makes all the difference in how the bread slices and stores and everything. I’ve been using it for years, and so do the Wonder Bread people, and so does every other bakery in America.

The truth is that there is very, very little difference between my bread and Wonder Bread when it comes to nutrition.  I prefer mine for two reasons: it’s cheaper and it tastes better.  But if I’m in the middle of house-remodeling like I am right now, and my kitchen is torn all to hell, I have no qualms at all about buying a loaf or two of bread from the store. We grumble a little but it’s fine.

The truth is that America’s food is some of the best in the world.  The quality is high.

We shop largely at Aldi. It’s cheap and so are we, so it’s a good fit for us. One major reason that Aldi is cheap is that there are few choices.  If you go in there and want a bottle of ketchup, you will find one size, one brand. Take it or leave it.

Do you want eggs? Aldi has eggs.  One size, one kind. That’s it.

The other day, I had to shop at Kroger for the first time in about three years (other than running in there for an occasional item that Aldi doesn’t carry).  I found that experience to be a little unsettling.

I needed those two things, among others:  ketchup and eggs.  There were so many choices I had difficulty.  I just wanted plain-Jane ordinary ketchup, but I was faced with 15 different kinds and brands. I wanted a dozen eggs, but there were ten different brands and kinds. I nearly had a meltdown right there in the store.  And that was a small Kroger. They’ve put in a very large one in a neighboring town and I’ll be damned if I will ever put my foot in it.

My point though is that we have a lot of food available and there is nothing wrong with any of it.

Take that photo of the Naugler baby and the nachos.

There is nothing wrong with nachos, even from Hardee’s.  Corn chips, and cheese, and probably salsa and maybe some sour cream.

Our problem is that we have so much food that we eat too much of it, and I am guilty of that.

But, you say, we need to eat more food as it comes from nature.  Why? What is the difference between my canned peaches (or the commercial canned peaches) and a peach?  The answer is pretty much nothing.

Where we screw up is that instead of those canned peaches, which are identical nutritionally to a fresh peach, we eat peach ice cream or peach cobbler.

And that leads me to sugar.

It gets a bad rap. People carry on like it’s tantamount to eating arsenic.  It’s not. Sugar is good stuff.

And there is virtually no difference at all between ordinary white sugar and honey or molasses or any other sweetener (artificial ones excepted). All of them are sweeteners, and all of them provide basically “empty” calories. And none of us need to eat mountains of any of them.  Honey is not “better” for you than sugar.

But I think most parents already know this basic stuff.

But what about this?


Nicole posts these types of photos and I see people go off on her for it.

This particular “chili” is fine as far as I can tell.  I’m not sure we’d eat it because I don’t think Dave would like it.  It’s not how I make chili.  But that’s okay.  There is nothing at all wrong with any ingredient in it.

But it’s not what is conventionally called “real food.”  It’s mostly processed foods from cans all dumped together in a pot.


And there is this.  Nicole admits this is bad, and I agree with her.  It’s not that it’s bad food – it’s not – but holy shit, how do you screw up something that horribly?  It looks like she dumped some raw rice and water along with a package or two of frozen mixed veggies in a crock pot and thought magic would happen.


First, would somebody please steal that bowl from these folks and destroy it?  It looks like the inside of one of the plastic buckets they use for. . . well, you know. . .

Second, what in the hell is that?

Beans and rice or beans and noodles are good foods. You don’t need meat with every meal, even if you’re a growing child. Beans are a great food and Americans should eat more of them.

But damn, what is that?

Seriously, if Nicole can’t come up with better stuff than this, she needs to quit lecturing us about “real food.”


Here’s an example of what is so disingenuous about her.  She says that she has “eliminated. . . most processed food.”

No, she hasn’t. Not even close.  Not even slightly.  In fact, she eats as much processed food as anyone. Do  you think nobody else has ever eaten cherry tomatoes before?  Or raw broccoli in a salad?


Note the photo of the “real food” for dinner.  Hamburgers on white bread (store bought), sliced tomato, fried potatoes.

There is nothing at all different about that than this.


Please understand that I am not saying that Nicole’s food choices are bad.  I have never said that. I know people do say that, but I’m not one of them. There’s nothing at all wrong with having a hamburger with some fried potatoes and sliced tomatoes.

I don’t find fault with her menu postings (she did some on one of her blogs and people had conniptions because of their supposed inferior nutritional content.) I sometimes make menus like that and just because I write down “Tuesday: spaghetti” that doesn’t mean that spaghetti is the only thing that will be offered.  There will probably be a salad and bread and maybe some fruit for dessert.

What I am criticizing is her attempt to appear all “natural” and homesteady while the reality is that she eats just like the rest of us, only she appears to be able to consume Joe’s can-dumping “chili” and I know I couldn’t do it. I am criticizing her little memes saying that we don’t need vitamins because we should just eat “real food,” when she doesn’t eat any different from anyone else.  I am criticizing her claims that they have “eliminated processed foods” when they absolutely have not done that at all.

She’s fake.  You know, fake, like store-brand cola instead of the Real Thing.






59 thoughts on “Real Food”

  1. This is the problem I have with paleo. I have neighbors whose ancestors were eating an actual factual Stone Age diet while mine were working the first factory jobs in England. Their traditional diet? It’s processed. Wild foods are smoked, dried, frozen, subjected to lactic acid fermentation, and/or submerged in animal fat; each process changes their nutritional profile. Eating plain fresh fruits and vegetables and cuts of fresh meat all the time is a modern thing. You have to have modern infrastructure or live in exactly the right climate–not the climate most of us live in!

    However, as the parent of a child who had terrifying symptoms until we figured out that she couldn’t handle a common food additive, I am in favor of not eating things that contain ingredients you wouldn’t cook with at home. Sometimes this isn’t possible because the stuff that’s full of sodium compounds and FD&C dyes tends to be cheap and easy to fix, hence the diet of the poor and harried. But I myself have noticed that if I don’t eat box dinners, cup noodles, funny colored ice cream, or zero calorie health drinks, I get fewer migraines and digestive upsets. I think that a lot of those additives have been tested for poisonousness or the tendency to cause cancer, but not for generally making people feel cruddy.


  2. This is the problem I have with paleo.

    We don’t actually know what the “paleo” diet even was. Furthermore, the plants that existed then aren’t in the same form today so it would be impossible to reproduce it. The whole paleo thing is just another fad.


  3. I agree with you regarding THAT dish! It makes the badly cooked food look even worse. Nicole is a hypocrite even down to the food she pretends not to eat. What bugs me is that it seems she gives herself an awful lot of nice treats but the kiddos just get one pot slop. She is a selfish Mother.


  4. OMG I just hurled at those photos of “real food”. We try not to eat processed but it’s very hard..but we don’t eat slop, we do buy organic meat, every meal has a protein, starch, vegetable. It’s Jody about eating balanced food and not hide eating fat and take out for convenience. I never see steak, pork chops, ribs, chicken from blh. Where’s the fruit and veggies? Where’s the dairy? Where’s ride milk for growing brains and bones?


  5. Their is nothing wrong with vitamin supplements. My husband does Paleo buy yet he still has a fatty liver. Therefore he is taking vitamin e for it. I know him losing weight should help as well, but due to his TBI that medically retired him from the Army, he can’t excercise, otherwise he will get dizzy and fall over.

    I do have to say though that woo-hoo gyros are awesome. And I’ll stop there on occasion after I’m done getting my nails done.


  6. Their is nothing wrong with vitamin supplements.

    There is nothing wrong with them if you don’t mind flushing money down the toilet. There is something very wrong with them if you take too much of them. I would never advise anyone to take vitamin supplements without a doc’s recommendation.


  7. I just don’t understand. They mentioned in one of those posts that they were using donated food, but they couldn’t contact one of the many charities that would have put a Thanksgiving meal in those kids’ bellies?

    Christmas should be a blast this year.


  8. My husband vitamin e is a prescription from the VA, so no out of pocket cost.


  9. I have R.A. I am not a fan of medications as a general rule. However, being a broken and twisted tree branch every morning is not my idea of a good time. In addition to my occasional NSAID, I take tumeric. I also make my own dog food. My arthritic old hound gets tumeric as well. It helps. Some things do actually have a benefit.

    Nicole has no concept of life past social media. She wants fake internet points for life. Hypocrisy is the best way to get fake internet points. I would guess that at least 75% of what they eat comes out of a dented can.


  10. Thank you Sally.

    Preserving food involves processing. It involves chemicals and changing the state of the food it’s. Heck, we could probably say that killing an animal for food is a form of processing. I make jerky in a very low-tech way–I get it cut thin, like carne asada thin, salt it, pepper it, put on grates under a screen and leave it outside for a week. It’s less than that in the desert. When sugar was made cheaply available to the masses, people could preserve fruit. Hence fruit preserves that allowed you to have fruit out of season.

    I don’t have much opinion on the various diets out there. I think many people use them for some sort of structure for their eating but they can get pretty extreme. And they are highly speculative. There is relatively little literature of anthropological studies of diet that I feel reasonably comfortable with. One is Wild Food by Ray Mears and Gordon Hillman ( which very interesting in terms of the expertise of indigenous peoples in processing their food) and the other is Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Price (which can get a bit dooms-dayish should about sugar–don’t eat so much and brush your teeth). Maybe Nicole’s concerns are about preservatives. Whoops, sugar and salt are chemical preservatives that have been around for eons.

    That being said, I realize that any blogger, parent or other may be anxious to receive praise for the culinary creations of the pseudo-homestead/refugee camp. But the food pictured just looks like nothing I’ve ever seen elsewhere. In the first place, I cannot fathom photographing my food and putting it out on the internet. Some people really do make fine creations and want to tell people about. Not my thing, but okay. But in the second place, presenting photos of half eaten cake, scary-looking bowls with bizarre and unappetizing looking slop are just weird. Add to that the viewer probably understands the environment the eating is taking place in is rather filthy and the effect is just yacky.


  11. This becomes dangerous when you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding. I ate a good, well rounded diet while pregnant but also conceived #3 when #2 was only 4.5 mos old (and #1 only 2 yrs). They were born exactly 14 mos apart, she was a healthy 8.5 lbs at birth but at 6 weeks was barely over 9 lbs. Between the close pregnancies, breastfeeding, exhaustion and not eating properly my breast milk did not have enough fat and nutrients for her. She was wetting enough but didn’t look healthy….a week on formula and she gained over a pound (though she’s still tall and slender at 12). We’re a military family and I was juggling 3 kids under 4 with just hubby, I couldn’t think let alone remember to feed myself. My last baby I had 4 years later, ate healthy, gained a good amount of weight, delivered at a healthy 10 lbs (in a hospital!). He gained weight, was exclusively breastfed for 14 months until his latch changed and it felt like a piranha attacking lol. The problem was that we lived in Alaska, just a bit south of the Arctic Circle, with sunlight 24/7 in summer and only a few hours of weak rays in the winter. He is fair with strawberry blonde hair so even in summer we covered him in sunscreen. Then I noticed small lumps on his ribs while tickling him one day. The pediatrician confirmed it…..rickets due to lack of vitamin D. As he started standing and walking we noticed his legs were much more knock-kneed than his siblings had ever been, another effect of the rickets. You can only imagine my guilt. Here I was, a financially comfortable, healthy, educated, cloth diapering, breastfeeding mother whose child had a “third world” physical problem because she had neglected to take her own vitamins or give her (breastfed!!!) child his. I wasn’t opposed to them or anything, I just forgot to take mine and the baby would just spit his out. I figured since my diet was so good I didn’t have to worry about them. His legs eventually straightened on their own, though it took until age 6 while normal is usually around 4-5. We moved to the South when he was 18 mos so all the kids get plenty of sunshine too. He’s our smartest child, is 2nd grade and in gifted program, so thankfully no long lasting consequences. I’m just glad that I was educated and aware enough to catch the problem early and begin treatment before it got too bad.

    People want to say these problems don’t exist now or pretend they never existed, but they did and they do. Heck, just look at all the pictures of families during the Depression! Canned, frozen, “processed” food actually made people healthier because it gave them more access to vegetables and fruits than they had had before. Same with pasteurizing milk, they would actually have dispensaries in the cities were mothers could get milk for their young children. There’s a reason food is fortified with certain vitamins and minerals. I also just found out that my rx medications for my depression and migraines can cause anemia and other vitamin deficiencies, which explains a LOT of issues I’ve had lately and can easily be remedied with a daily multivitamin which I wouldn’t otherwise need. And I’d rather take a multivitamin than undergo unnecessary tests or take even more pharmaceuticals.


  12. Actually we do have a pretty good idea of what humans were eating about 50,000 years ago because their descendants, still living on the same patch of ground in the same conditions, are still eating it. But it doesn’t matter. We’re not them. Most people outside that part of Africa are taller, many have drastically different gut flora, some of us are mutants who can digest milk, and so forth. The paleo diet of my neighbors is “only” seven to nine thousand years old and it’s irrelevant to anybody who doesn’t actually live there because most of it is not available for sale anywhere.

    Now, I think there’s something of a case to be made for picking one traditional regional cuisine and sticking to it, provided that its practitioners are in reasonably good health and you’re duplicating the actual cuisine, not a version designed for people who think that most of the “ethnic” parts are icky. People generally (not always) can figure out that certain things have good or bad effects. BUT–if you credit the diet with more than good digestion, good sleep, and a general feeling of vigor, you’re going too far. Bone broth is not magic medicine.


  13. Some of the foods that Nicole posts pictures of is stuff my aunt would call “dump dishes”. Just dump a little of everything into a pot willy-nilly and hope for the best. Not the best approach to cooking but with a little thought, doable. The key is… a little thought.

    Nicole is certainly no cook. You would think as broke as they’ve been and as many people as they feed, that either Nicole or Joe would have learned more about frugal cooking. It’s not rocket science.
    I am sure lack of refrigeration is an issue on keeping milk in the house but there is nothing new about canned or powdered milk that you mix with water. I guess she thinks the kids get what they need from drowning everything in shredded cheese. They could be eating meat more often if Nicole shopped family packages of meat and learned to can and dry foods. It’s hunting season.
    If she or Joe learned to can meats, buying a cow on the hoof and having it butchered, even once a year, would allow them more meat and save them a bundle at the grocery store. It’s hunting season. Joe and the two oldest boys should be able to keep plenty of meat on the table, year around, as Kentucky has prime hunting areas. I am sure there is plenty of game on their acreage. Alas, that would require learning something new and actually applying real effort. Sigh.
    Foraging for nuts and mushrooms would be a great and free addition to their diets. There are also many fresh greens that grow wild that would allow the family a wider variety of nutritious foods for their table. I can’t tell you how many times I watched my grandmother out on our land pulling poke and mustard greens. Root crops can be grown even in the colder months. Herbs and spices grow without much attention and can make the most of even the dullest foods. Even asparagus grows wild in most of the Midwest; all it takes is finding the patches and harvesting each year.
    I am not on a homestead, but I am frugal and willing to work hard for the things I need. A few years back I was unemployed for a year and I learned the importance of being frugal and bartering. I was frugal even when I had a high paying job but being suddenly strapped my knowledge and experience paid off.
    In my youth I hunted but now I just help the neighbor clean and process some of his hunting kills. He gives me some of the meat in return. Some of it I freeze and some I dry. Even the bones make great stock that I can freeze or can. I cut and burn wood; it’s my only source of heat. I grow some of my fresh foods even though my property has poor soil. I help with gardening at a friend’s home and in return they give me veggies I cannot grow at my place. I trade some of my herbs for food items. Ramen noodles aren’t the healthiest food unless of course you get creative and add stir fried veggies and meat into them and then they are quite tasty, filling, and nutritious. Rice and potatoes keep for a very long time and can be bought in bulk, cheaply. Knowing how to preserve foods and bake my own breads saves me a good chunk of change.
    A friend of mine who has been following the BLH since near the beginning tried to offer some advice on how to help with food supplies and creative cooking for a large family. Her advice was met with snide comments and rejection from the Blessed. Imagine that.

    For those who are actually making a way of life “homesteading”, my hats off to them. There are several that I follow online who blog and it’s a joy to read what they share, success and failures alike.
    Here’s one family who seems to be doing things right and are pretty successful living off the land, and off the grid, so to speak. They started with nothing and have a thriving household. They raise animals and gardens. Shannon’s success with fermentation has led to the publishing of a few great cook books that help to bring money in for the needs they cannot produce on their own, as well as keeping them well fed. Stewart, her husband, doesn’t have a lazy bone in his body and the two of them work hard, and it shows. They are successful homesteaders. They live in a home that Stewart built with his own hands and that he enlarged as their family increased.

    This is the life (and the blog) that Nicole can only dream of. Nicole would do well to follow these people and take notes.


  14. rickets due to lack of vitamin D

    This is more common in Alaska, especially in the far north, than most people realize. It’s a great example of a time and place where vitamin supplementation is a good idea. I’d forgotten about it.


  15. Being able to buy gyros at 4.50 each must mean they are doing well! For a family of 13 that is 58.50 for dinner, not including anything else.
    I seriously doubt she got one for everyone. I even doubt she got one for her workers (her own children).


  16. OK, Sally and I are gonna finally disagree on something. And I’m gonna walk the walk and Sally is gonna call me an arrogant, albeit correct asshole later.

    I contend that store bought peanut butter is nasty ass, hydrogenated oil. It’s basically axle grease. I’m gonna give Sally a jar of good stuff when we swap pork for lamb in the near future.

    It’s on Sally ?

    The rest we agree on. Nicole is trying desperately to portray herself as a crunchy, holistic, back to basics, homesteader.

    All talk. No walk.


  17. The problem you have is that I seriously love all peanut butter. I have never found a peanut butter that I didn’t like, with the single exception of that fake shit that isn’t peanut butter at all (intended for poor souls who are allergic to peanuts).


  18. I have always hated peanut butter. My brother used to chase me around the house with an open peanut butter jar to torture me. The smell alone would make me gag. My children didn’t get peanut butter sandwiches until they were old enough to make them for themselves.

    Al’s kind wife gave a jar of peanut butter to us for my teen. He got one peanut butter sandwich. I ate the rest. It was that good.

    As to the Naugler parents and food. It is my observation that they would do well to learn how to get more nutritional bangs for their buck. For the cost of that one Greek gyro they could easily feed the entire family with some planning and knowledge. It seems to me that it is a lost skill. I grew up and learned to cook among women who had very little and knew how to use every bit of food they could get their hands on and make it taste delicious. Many of them had as many, if not more children, than the Nauglers do and far less resources. Then again, they worked harder. I waste way too much food, but I can afford to. Still it bothers me.


  19. Because you posted about your bread, I have to ask… my homemade breads always comes out way too dense and crumbly. Would dough conditioner help with that?


  20. In my neck of the US, “real food” is stuff that hasn’t been processed much before you buy it and do whatever. Spaghetti O’s isn’t “real food.” It’s processed to the hilt. Canned sauce is also processed to the hilt. Plain tomato paste is a grey area since not a hell of a lot has been done to it, comparatively. It’s really about how much something has been transformed from its natural state. We eat a lot of what’s called “real food” because it’s cheaper by a lot, and don’t have fast food more than once a month or so because it’s more expensive by a lot. We all feel better than we did when we ate more junk. We also have a lot less sodium and fat, and are more aware of what we’re eating because it’s hard not to know. We do buy condiments already made because I got tired of making my own mayo. Since food overall takes more effort than just opening a can of stuff, we are less likely to snack.

    Even though we buy food that is a lot less processed than many, you don’t find us sitting here looking down on people who don’t do what we do. We know that we can do what we do because I am a housewife and have the time to make chicken noodle soup from scratch using a chicken carcass for the stock and fresh pasta from flour and water.

    Joe could do this if he wasn’t so lazy (I really don’t know how he can call that slop “chili”). But he’s too lazy, and his wife looks down on people who eat like they do. I guess living on a shitstead gives them some bonus “real foods” points.

    “I just wanted plain-Jane ordinary ketchup, but I was faced with 15 different kinds and brands. I wanted a dozen eggs, but there were ten different brands and kinds.”

    You know what? Our store has so many kinds of eggs that they’re kept in two locations in the store. If eggs shock you, look at how many kinds of raisin bran there are. There’s even less difference in raisin brans than there is in ketchups. There are nine fridge doors for the milk. NINE FOR MILK.

    Now I’m going to look down on Nicole and Joe for something. They eat plenty of fast food. How often do the kids get to go to Hardy’s? Those kids get mysery cans and rancid pancakes.


  21. Dinners are hard at my house. I have a son who is lactose and gluten intolerant. A daughter who is allergic to nuts. Then there is me no fresh fruits or vegetables or nuts. I also take a large dose of vitamin d once a week dr perscribed (I was at a 10 on my blood work should be 80-100) and I take liquid vitamins (I don’t digest tablets for some reason). There is no way I can eat enough to get what I need. However I’m with Al on the peanut butter homemade with honey is the best ever.


  22. I process my own food. Yes it is easier and probably cheaper to go buy it at the store. BUT
    1. you have no idea what else beside the product you are buying is in the food. The government allows certain amounts of hair, rodent droppings, insects and dirt in manufactured foods. Even chemicals.
    2. I know how my food is grown as we grow it or only buy from places we know grow like we do.
    3. I know when I am canning every thing is clean and passing my strict guidelines. Cleaning uses a lot of water. Many things I triple wash such as greens, beans and anything that grows under ground.
    4. What I can is fresh from the garden into the jars. Does not sit around in crates or bins waiting to be processed.
    5. I control what is in my food such as salt, sugar, spices and no preservatives.
    6. I know how well stuff is prepared washing the produce to how it is processed.
    7. For meat fresh from the farm we know what it was fed, how it was raised and butchered.

    Canning is not hard to learn. You can find lots of information online about it. I have been canning for almost 40 years so I still use methods that were taught to me by family that is not always USDA approved. I have my thoughts on that but will not go into it here. My grandparents had a large family and they had to can stuff to make sure they had enough to feed the family especially during the depression.

    Yes it does take a lot of work from seed to finished product. Yes start up is costly but not bad if you start out small and build it up. Heck this year alone we bought over 100 cases of jars. Yes that is right over 100 cases. We shop for deals and use coupons when we get them. We buy so many jars that some places are willing to give us bulk discounts. We could have just let stuff rot or given it away (we did give a lot away and are still giving away squash), but who knows how well the stuff is going to grow next year. Bumper crop of winter squash this year, blackberries were crazy this year for the first time in 5 years and tomatoes were gang busters. Last year peas were great but this year not so much. Thankfully I did lots of extra last year. Beets were not so good this year either and last year was okay but not enough to do a lot of extra. So hoping next year is a bumper crop of beets and peas.

    We finally got to putting labels on all of the jars. I usually can and label later when it is all done. I knew I had canned a lot as I was running out of places to stash filled cases of jars. Saturday we started with the labels and I was blown away how much I had done and I had not even brought the stuff stashed in the back room. Did the back room on Sunday and let me say I have enough apple butter, pumpkin butter, peach jam, blackberry jam and jelly to feed the whole town for more than a year. Lots of pickles, relishes, peaches, nectarines, squash, green beans, carrots, whole tomatoes, swiss chard, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce and sloppy joe sauce in pints we have not even started to label quart jars yet and there are cases and crates full of them. Elderberries were another great producer this year. I did elderberry jelly and elderberry tincture. Tincture was my first try at making old fashion remedy stuff. I plan on making other stuff next year.

    I should have known I did a lot as I went through over 200 lbs of sugar. Working on my next 100 lbs of sugar as I still have some jams and jellies to do.

    Not only does our household benefit from our canning but so do extended family and many many friends. I will be delivering cases and cases of stuff to them. Family and friends love to see me coming with boxes in hand. Thankfully most all are really good about taking good care of the jars and returning them as the jars IMO after equipment are the most expensive part of canning.

    Sorry but there is no reason with the amount of land, hands to tend to it that they can not grow most of what they need. Homestead husband who stays at home can learn to do it. With all those kids he would have lots of help and would be a great unschooling lesson. But one can not be a lazy person when it comes to growing and canning your own food. A great water supply is another must for growing and canning. Above all one has to practice cleanliness at all times.

    I cringed when I saw the picture of the peanuts they dug up. I guess we all pretty much know that they are not going to be cleaned well of the dirt that is on them due to lack of clean water supply. Hope they do not get botulism from them. Botulism is the reason why you want to make sure ground crops are really cleaned well. I guess if they boil the peanuts for 10 or more minutes they should be safe. Another reason to laugh when Nicole says if you eat a good diet you will not get sick. Well your good diet could make you sick and very sick if you can not clean stuff you grow well due to lack of clean water.


  23. “with the single exception of that fake shit that isn’t peanut butter at all…”

    Are you dissing my beloved sunflower butter? Them’s fighting words, Sally!


  24. The Art of Grifting! Go to Golden Coral or Hardee’s or Greek food and have a nice thanks giving dinner then come home cook one bowl of pig slop that nobody ate then show to leghumpers and walla free I feel so SORRY for them Moneys. I can read them like a book. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA


  25. Nice post!!

    Nut butters are amazing.
    Also, I agree with Al. That particular stuff is shit. To hell with peanut butter! Have you tried hazelnut butter? F me! While “Nutzo Seven Nut and Seed Butter” is amazing for nutrition, my favorite nut butter is “Kalot Organic Fruit & Almond Butter with Blueberries Cinnamon and Walnuts”; its really smooth. Alternatively, just fuck it all and buy the Cookie Butter (it sits next to the nut butters at Whole Foods)!

    “You would think as broke as they’ve been and as many people as they feed, that either Nicole or Joe would have learned more about frugal cooking.” -My Oh My!

    I would argue that they have, seeing as how they just add a gallon or two of water to every meal they eat. Ding, ding, ding! Watered down beans and slop, come and get it, kids! Last one in has to hand feed the hog Daddy!

    Nicole is certainly no “Earth Mother”! Only on her luckiest day may she even shoot for, Walmart Mother of the Week. Aim high, Nicole, aim high! Of course, what is a high-standard for Nicole, is low to most anyone else. Need I mention, I despise Walmart and its disgusting practices.

    [OT] And oh my, Nicole just loves Ayn Rand! If only she heeded the woman’s advice. You see, Rand is all for accepting Welfare and government support of any kind; because if taxes are theft, one should be doing everything in their power to get as much of their “stolen” money back as is possible. Nicole, stubborn to the point of her own demise.


  26. My insurance covers $30 worth of OTC products a month. This includes vitamins, pain relievers, cold meds, tampons, tooth paste, etc. The only downside is you have to order online and you can only make one order a month even if you don’t max out. The good thing is most of the products are CVS brand.

    My youngest son is in a picky eating phase. Normal, but annoying. Our primary has us give him a basic kid’s multivitamin to make sure he’s getting what he needs. My husband works nights and his blood work showed a vitamin D deficiency, so he takes a vitamin D supplement. As for me, I’m on a few things thanks to my crappy health. Basic multivitamin, tumeric, vitamin B complex, calcium, slow release iron, and vitamin D if I don’t leave the house for a few days. Again, all of these are absolutely free thanks to my insurance and taken under a doctor’s supervision.

    A random person buying stuff they saw on day time TV without talking to their doctor first is just an idiot.

    Peanut butter is also my crack. Love, love, love the stuff.

    As for pure junk food, I make a point to keep very little in the house. We live 2 blocks from a Family Dollar and a 24 hour gas station. If anyone wants Doritos, they have to want it bad enough to do some light cardio to get it.


  27. Would dough conditioner help with that?

    Yep. You know how store-bought bread holds together when you spread peanut butter or butter or jam on it? You know how homemade bread falls apart? Dough conditioner stops that. The bread also keeps longer on the shelf (important to us because there are only two of us).

    This is what I use. I know it looks expensive, but that is FOUR POUNDS of the stuff. It keeps almost indefinitely and you only use 3 tsp (teaspoons) per loaf of bread. I will have my four pound can for years. And if you follow that link, you also donate to the Kentucky Sheriff’s Ranch.


  28. Canned sauce is also processed to the hilt.

    What? No, it isn’t. I can spaghetti sauce a lot. It’s not “processed to the hilt,” whatever that means. It’s simply canned.

    We eat a lot of what’s called “real food” because it’s cheaper by a lot,

    Actually, it’s not cheaper, if I’m following how you’re defining “real food.” It’s way more expensive to buy fresh, and quite often it’s not nearly as nutritious. The longer fresh food sits around, the more it loses in food value. The most food value comes from freshly picked food (go out to the garden and pull some corn, bring it to the house and put it in boiling water). The next best is frozen (that’s because frozen food is made from produce that is fresh). The next is canned, and finally comes dried. However, the differences are miniscule.

    You might think your fresh pasta is better than storebought dried pasta, but it actually is not. I make it too, and I do it from time to time because we like the taste of it, but I don’t fool myself into thinking that somehow we are eating something better.

    The issue with fast food is simply that it contains too much fat and in some cases, too much sugar and not enough vegetables (and french fries hardly count as a vegetable). We eat it occasionally, but not often, and we usually opt for something like Subway because it makes us feel less guilty.

    The “rancid pancakes” most likely were not rancid, nor were they the cause of that illness. Those kids had a bout of something like noro virus.


  29. I agree with two specific points. I think anyone that has a long, dark winter definitely needs vitamin d. It’s benefits have been well researched and it’s really quite difficult to over dose on it. I believe (might be wrong ) that in Canada, it’s mandated that all dairy products are fortified with d to avoid rickets. As well, yes, prenatal vitamins. The folic acid is so important to a developing fetus and if it can prevent spina bifida, why wouldn’t you take it? But regarding the dietary habits of the blessed, I think it’s safe to say it likely not substantive on nutritional content. Canned, dried and frozen foods are fine but the lack of refrigeration for dairy products and meat does indicate a lack of certain dense nutrients found in those specific foods. But, they’re on a bare bones gut filling (let’s hope ) poverty diet. I just wish they gave a shit about the kids physical development more than appear to. I know, it’s an empty wish.


  30. Sorry but there is no reason with the amount of land, hands to tend to it that they can not grow most of what they need.

    1. They have extremely poor soil. One look at the shrubs and scrub trees and I knew their soil sucks.

    2. Growing everything you need is basically impossible (you buy sugar and salt), and it’s a whole hell of a lot of work. I generally can about 1000 jars annually, so I’m right with you in terms of experience. Nicole works full time. When is she supposed to do all this? Joe is incapable and we all know it. The kids can’t do it, nor would I eat it if they did.

    3. Getting botulism from eating dirt is rare indeed and highly unlikely. The Naugler kids are left to fend for themselves with a whole lot but getting botulism isn’t one of the things I’d be worried about. Peanuts are in shells. They aren’t going to eat the shells. And they probably aren’t going to eat the peanuts raw anyway.


  31. In the US, fortification is voluntary but almost universal (milk products).

    Canned, dried and frozen foods are fine

    They aren’t just “fine.” They’re perfectly fine. When there is no difference (absolutely zero difference) nutritionally between a canned peach and a fresh peach, you don’t get brownie points for buying fresh peaches. I like them, and we buy them in season from the Mennonite produce place, but I know that it’s simply a luxury.

    One pot slop made from canned foods might look horrible, and there’s no way we’d eat it, but frankly, we’ve raised pigs on it that were quite healthy. And pig metabolism is almost identical to human.

    The Naugler kids won’t die if they never get to eat a nice steak or fresh asparagus.

    I know that it’s impossible to diagnose anything from photos, but the Naugler kids look perfectly well-fed to me. Joe looks over-fed. Nicole looks fine. We have zero evidence, absolutely zero evidence, that those children are being starved or anything even remotely like that.

    My beef isn’t about that. It’s about her pretense.


  32. Thank you for the link! I shall be buying some at the start of the year when our budget becomes less tight. I have a friend who has the same problems with her breads, so I’m sure she will want some too!


  33. Thanks for linking to that blog, MyOhMy. Looks like an interesting read!

    I don’t really have anything to add on the topic of “real food” vs. “processed food”, but a tiny shop near here now sells all kinds of “nut butter” from roasted nuts – almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios… And it’s incredibly delicious!
    And it’s made by a small local business, so I’m very happy to support the tiny shop, the small business and my greed for deliciousness! 😀


  34. I am one of those unlucky-allergic-to-peanut folks. I make my own almond butter and have made cashew butter but my husband and grandkids all say the same thing: good but not peanut butter. I, too, because of some abnormalities in my upper digestive tract am forced to take certain vitamins: Vit D to treat ongoing rickets (as a child) to now adult rickets AKA osteomalacia–probably misspelled. And I have iron deficiency anemia requiring 6 iron infusions every six months. But, I refuse to self diagnose myself and am a firm believer that vitamins for the sake of stocking up is a bunch of crap promoted by the food supplement industry and by those trendy folks who suddenly are all allergic to wheat. WTF! Having said that, I’d like to give my other two cents on processed food. Yes, the USA does have some of the best and most regulated food in the world, which makes eating it safe. But, I have been all over the Middle East and believe me when I say that they have no processed food: if the label says the shelf life is two days, it’s two days. There are no refrigerated lunch meats that will last more than two days because there are no preservatives. Does that make their food better than our foods that do have preservatives added to maintain safety and extend shelf life? Absolutely not. Because my husband and I are vegetarians who eat fish once a week, we were not nearly as affected by the decreased shelf life of lunch meats and chunks of meat but it made a huge difference in the fish that we bought, which resulted in us buying our fish right off the boat.

    While I agree that one can receive just as much nutritional value from “processed” food as those foods that are more natural, I argue that it’s not so much the nutritional value but that most of us really use our kitchens to prepare tasty and appealing foods. The crap she posts as healthy and “earthy” looks unfit to eat. Someone said N’s cooking or J’s cooking is all about dumping crap in a pot and I agree. And, it does take a little longer than dumping food in a pot to make it taste and look good. Cooking sauces with fresh or even dried spices and herbs need time to blend and heat and length of time heating is a component to creating that chemical reaction of blending as opposed to two or more separate ingredients without the blending. Cooking and baking is, after all, an effort in art (the aesthetics of the dish) and an effort in chemistry (the blending of ingredients to create a new flavor and texture).

    Shit, I didn’t want this to be too long winded…but, I realize that from all the attempts that N and J’s kids have put into trying to grow food on that piece of property has not been successful; I also realize that N probably doesn’t have time to find a farmer’s market or form a relationship with a local farmer from whom she could buy fresh veggies to maybe can nor does she have time to can. Up until retirement and even when my children were babies, I managed to get off of my 9 hour a day job and go home and clean the house, wash the clothes, cook the meals, and after the kids went to bed, can food that I either bought or was given or grew. Does that make me better than N? Well, less time on the internet and more time being productive for her kids might make her more valuable in my opinion but N strikes me as one of those women who has taken the identity of the chauvinists men of earlier times: she comes home from work, kisses the tykes on the head, sits in the most comfortable chair, reads or writes on her phone, and reminds everyone in the shit shack that she is the one bringing in the bacon and because of that, she is entitled to rest until bedtime. Now, I’m not 100% sure that is a fact but from the looks of the condition of her children and the property and the filth we have seen with the kids clothes, I am sure that even though J isn’t manning up as the stay at home dad, she refuses to step up. Even when a stay at home mom is lazy and unreliable, the husbands often contribute to try and make the kids’ lives better. My son’s soon to be ex wife was one of those types of wives who never cooked, clean, or care for the kids. In fact, their second grade son wrote an essay on when he was the happiest which involved his mother washing dishes. He has custody of all the children (3) and she has ran off with some internet fling. I believe that the N’s have been on their property long enough now to have had made some advances toward their own sustainability but they are in the same position now as they were when they first arrived on the lovely little shitstead.

    All her postings about her healthy cooking and living off grid fall on deaf ears because she doesn’t provide even the rudiments of earthiness; in fact, she is antithetical to homesteading or whatever the people who are in this movement to live off grid. She is not motivated to improve her situation; she is not making changes when their attempts fail; and she certainly isn’t taking care of her children, animals, and land…she is making a shit storm of everything she touches. She wants to talk about healthy eating when they shit all over their property–not healthy at all, and she is hauling water to drink and cook with and the kids are bathing in the local swimming hole…not very healthy to me.
    I swear she has to see what a wreck she has made at this attempt of taming the land and going off grid…you know, her own water source that isn’t powered by the water company, her own septic system without dependence upon a company leaving a potty and coming and emptying the potty, and on and on….she is unable to do it and to ignorant to admit failure…. I have to say that even her attempts to put dreadlocks in her hair is a total joke and instead of making her look like a white woman with dreadlocks it makes her look like a white woman who hasn’t combed or washed her hair in years. She wants the look just like she wants to be a part of the homestead/off grid movement but doesn’t want to put out the effort.


  35. Thank you for the link!

    I discovered dough conditioner while reading a bread forum (there is a forum online on every subject imaginable). I decided to give it a shot since bread falling apart was my biggest complaint about homemade bread. I just wanted to be able to make a peanut butter sandwich (!!!)

    And it was pretty much miraculous. I don’t say that lightly. I don’t impress easily, and I was blown away.


  36. Now I wonder how the Earl of Sandwich was able to popularize peasant food (no, he didn’t invent the thing!) before dough conditioner had been invented. How did his baker make bread that held together? Have we lost a technique?


  37. A while back, I actually took the time (a grueling half hour from initial search to finish, oh woe) to list the vegetables that could be grown in properly tended soil in western Kentucky and stored for weeks or months without the need to buy anything more expensive than a clean new trash can. With some corrections from people who’ve actually gardened in that region, it came to quite a list. Potatoes and beans could make a filling base for a summer diet of greens and tomatoes and a winter diet of root crops. Using Craigslist et al. to get a few old pallets here, some cinderblocks there, free-to-haul manure somewhere else–they could have been composting all along, and the initial soil test that would have told them exactly what to compost is free from Kentucky Cooperative Extension. If they hadn’t stupided the pond to death they could be feeding their kids fish pretty regularly, if they used their guns for more than boasting they could add fresh wild meat to that, and if Nicole weren’t so allergic to research that it took strangers on her precious social media sites to warn her that she was about to let her kids eat toads, they could safely add other wild foods to their diet. Oh, and if they had gotten rid of the chicken-eating dogs, they might have–what do you know?–chickens.

    But all of this requires not being aggressively ignorant on one hand and bone idle on the other. We are talking about a husband who took something like a year and a half to set out a bucket to catch the rain. Which is, what do you know, free.


  38. Ugh, forgot my last paragraph AGAIN. The point of all this wouldn’t be all-natural livin’, but freeing up money for other things. Such as toothpaste, and soap, and (coming up) diapers.


  39. Have we lost a technique?

    LOL Good point. I dunno. Maybe the wheat was different. Really coarse bread holds together better.


  40. Great post! I’m with you; Nicole’s food posts are crazy-making for all kinds of reasons, but the fact that she will preach about how to eat and then follow up with those in-your-face posts bragging/taunting about how she is treating herself to cake, soda, and other pure-pleasure eating is so beyond weird. Especially since the treats seem to be consumed only by Nicole and whichever one or two random Nauglers happen to be in her company on that day.


  41. I’m still trying to find a yeast roll recipe like the ones we had in school. Everyone loooved “roll day”, you could smell them as soon as you walked in in the mornings. They were made from scratch, very very light, and could be smooshed up into soft fluffy ball. Even better was when they had “pink butter” (suppose to be strawberry but I think they just mixed in jello lol). I’ve tried many many recipes and my elderly neighbor made the best in the county but have yet to find anything close to the soft fluffiness of the school rolls, they’re always too dense/thick. Golden Corral ones are the closest I’ve found but still not quite there. I guess it’s like brownies, the difference in soft fudgy ones vs dense cake-like.


  42. @Calyxta: I may have it. Try this:

    If you want these rolls for lunch, start them the previous evening or early in the morning. To 1/4 cup warm water take 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast. Leave to dissolve in a small bowl. In a large bowl place half stick softened unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, teaspoon sea salt. Pour 1 cup hot water into this mixture and stir until dissolved. Let stand until lukewarm. Stir in yeast mixture, then beat in 1 egg. Now stir in 2 3/4 cups flour, which may be all-purpose flour or up to half whole wheat flour. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon or other good heavy spoon until you get a very sloppy dough or thick batter with some “stretch” to it and there are no patches of dry flour. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 12 hours.

    Butter 15 muffin cups. Using a spoon, plop roughly equal amounts of dough into each one. Leave to rise for 45 minutes while you preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, just until fragrant and golden brown. Run a stick of butter over the tops as soon as they come out of the oven. Good warm or cooled; will keep for several days. Fluffy, delicious, and soft!


  43. Nicole has bad teeth. Genetics may have given her that problem but drinking one or more soft drinks each day and a fast food diet accelerates her predisposition to tooth decay and gum disease. If she has passed this problem onto her offspring her examples of poor management of what genetic predisposition has given becomes another huge problem she is passing along. Screw societal norms all she wants, when it comes to hard science and biology, her smile tells the complete story. She has a sugar problem and isn’t managing it very well. Joho’s dietary habits are written all over his very rotund wheezing body also.
    $8.77 for my 14.87# bird, with sweet potatoes and cabbage or kale, add a pumpkin pie and iced tea, this would be a massive improvement over fast food, but then I don’t have sugar addiction. I doubt storage would be a problem.
    All that said, it is still quite apparent ALL of her pictures are posted for provocation to feed her insatiable need for attention (and the Paypal button.) That’s her greatest hunger.


  44. Every time I think about the Nauglers umpteen roosters and one poor besieged hen, I shake my head. I am no expert in anything, especially homesteading. But I grew up with our family having hens and fresh eggs. When we moved out to the country, my brother wanted to start a little money making business selling eggs. My dad financed the start up, helped him build a chicken coop, and got some chicks from our feed store. After they outgrew the brooder, they were put into the coop. After due course, they began laying eggs. I think we usually had about 6 chickens at a time. Our family of 10 had plenty of eggs for our normal consumption, plus my brother sold the extra eggs to the neighbors. As far as raising livestock goes, I’d say this is on the “pretty simple” side. We did have a rooster at first, but once we learned how ornery and mean they can be, we got rid of him and just kept the hens. Eggs are a great source of nutrition. You can scramble them, hard boil them, use them in baking, or sell the extra for a little spending money. Why the Nauglers choose to have a bunch of roosters rather than say, 4 or 5 hens and no roosters, is just par for the course.
    I noticed a picture Nicole posted of some peanuts they had grown. I don’t know anything about growing peanuts, so I looked it up and sounds like it’s fairly easy to grow peanuts and simple to dry them/roast them or grind them up for homemade peanut butter. I doubt that one plant was enough to provide them with much in the way of peanuts for a family their size, but maybe next year, they’ll plant much more.


  45. I’m not a food snob. I have several older children in my house and we are busy. Busy with activities, busy with jobs, busy with music, just busy.

    I used to feel bad if I didn’t cook a from scratch meal every night for dinner but then I got over it. My family needs food and a mom that isn’t losing her mind. So yes we tend to eat too many convenience foods on the weekend. Eggs rolls, potstickers and chicken tenders are the go to foods on weekdays along with cereal and sandwiches. I try to hardboil eggs too to grab for an easy snack. And soup, it goes on sale, I stock up. But seriously teenagers eat non-stop and I just can’t keep up with homemade foods like I use to.

    My kids are getting nutrition. There bellies are full and I’m not stressing out. We all win. Sure my weekday meals won’t win any awards from the sanctimommy crowds but I don’t really care.

    Thanks for your post Sally, well written per usual.


  46. I meant nothing derogatory about canned, frozen or dried foods. They are perfectly fine and nutritious. I put up all our veggies and freeze a bunch, too. And I don’t think steak is mandatory, but if you ask my teen, he’d like it for every meal. ? I actually think those kids look surprisingly healthy, as well. But I’m one of those moms that like a little “meat ” on people’s bones. I was a rail as a kid and mostly survived on milk. If I was hungry, I’d have a glass. No junk food available when you’re out in the country. And likely because of my Ukrainian farmer bloodline, unless you’re stuffed to the gills when you leave the table, I’m probably not doing my job. I was raised with one meal a day being meat, potatoes, veggies, bread or rolls and desert. But, I get it. Her disconnect between the horse shit memes she posts and reality are astounding.


  47. The book, “Catching Fire : How Cooking Made Us Human” by Richard Wrangham is worth the reading time. IMO, obviously.


  48. When I was breastfeeding my babies, any time I would have a fast food meal my poor kids would get so gassy.


  49. Aside from the ridiculous hypocritical didactic nature of her nutrition lectures, the only real problem with a lot of what she posts — for example that recipe she shared — is the excess sodium in canned goods and fast food. That cannot be good for Joe or Nicole. Kids process the sodium a lot better. But it’s really not good for blood pressure (or kidneys) in those quantities.


  50. We unschool the correct way, which means finding ways to turn everyday things into lessons as we work toward educational goals. To make sure we aren’t missing anything, we enrolled our daughter in a program where she spends 5 hours each Friday at a school in classes with licensed teachers who help make sure that we aren’t overlooking anything. If she’s a little behind in math one week, it’s not a big deal if she catches up the next.

    Her class day goes over lunch. Since so many kids these days are allergic to peanut butter (I’m pretty sure that this modern trend of not giving kids peanut butter or shellfish or wheat or honey before the age or two “in case of allergies” is contributing to the rise in deadly allergies), her school has a ban on peanuts. The kids at that school are lucky since all the kids are homeschooled and there for evals, and homeschooling takes an amount of financial privilege for a parent to be home. We can all afford alternatives to peanut butters, which aren’t all cheap.

    I am concerned about poor families that really can’t afford a few dollars more for sunflower or almond. Peanut butter is a good, tasty, cheap, source of protein that doesn’t go bad if it’s not in a fridge, but a lot of families can’t afford it.


  51. “I would argue that they have, seeing as how they just add a gallon or two of water to every meal they eat. Ding, ding, ding! Watered down beans and slop, come and get it, kids! Last one in has to hand feed the hog Daddy!”

    Makes me think of the cabbage water in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

    “Canned sauce is also processed to the hilt.
    What? No, it isn’t. I can spaghetti sauce a lot. It’s not “processed to the hilt,” whatever that means. It’s simply canned.”

    Pick up a can or jar at the grocery store and take a look at the ingredients. It’s not the same as processing and canning your own sauce that is just sauce and some seasonings.

    “Actually, it’s not cheaper, if I’m following how you’re defining “real food.” It’s way more expensive to buy fresh, and quite often it’s not nearly as nutritious.”

    In my neck of the woods, I can get a pound of fresh tomatoes for 69 cents, which I just did today, or a 14oz can of canned tomatoes with a lot of salt for $1.09 for the store brand. A pound of fresh green beans is currently $1.29, which I got today. A smaller can is 89 cents for the store stuff. The per ounce price is less fresh, and it’s not soggy. Asparagus is $2.49 per found. The jar that’s about 10oz is almost $5, and it’s loaded with salt. A pound of fresh spinach is 99 cents. A frozen 14oz back is the same price.

    In states where everything freezes, fresh will be more expensive right now, but most of the places I’ve lived in my life have been coastal states, and fresh produce is cheaper.

    I call the pancakes rancid because Nicole said a couple complained about the tasting funny, and one of the kids wouldn’t eat them. The kids who ate them got sick.


  52. I can answer the question about bread before conditioner.

    When bread is made from flour, water, salt, and nothing else, and it left to rise all on its own, the gluten breaks down and the bread holds together. Our modern bread is meant to be made quickly, and the structural changes that happened over a day’s time don’t happen. So we have to fix that by adding conditioner.


  53. Pick up a can or jar at the grocery store and take a look at the ingredients. It’s not the same as processing and canning your own sauce that is just sauce and some seasonings.

    Reggano (Aldi) Pasta Sauce (that’s what they call spaghetti sauce), Meat Flavored

    Tomato puree (water, tomato paste, citric acid, diced tomatoes, sugar), soybean oil, ground beef, salt, dried onion, spices, dried garlic, citric acid

    There is not one single thing in that jar that I wouldn’t quite happily put in my own spaghetti sauce, including the citric acid (which is added to raise the acidity of the product so that the canned result is safe, and so the color remains bright – I have some in my cabinet right now).


  54. Sally, you say there’s no difference between pasta sauce from a can at store versus the stuff you make. I just looked at a can we have. It’s got 5 servings in it that are 1/2c each, and it’s got corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, and 540mg per serving of sodium. That’s a whopping 2,700mg of sodium. When I make fresh sauce, I don’t add that much, and yes, I know how that converts to tsp. I add, at most, half of that, and let the tomatoes and other seasonings speak for themselves without a lot of salt. I also don’t add sugar or corn syrup of HFCS.

    Yes, you get the nutrition of tomatoes from canned sauce from a store, but you also get a lot of added sugar and a lot more sodium. The average American diet is too high in those things, and a lot of it is thanks to those things being hidden in our foods. Even those cheap canned peaches from a store have added sugar in them (the no-sugar-added cost almost $2 per can, and the weight per ounce is twice the cost of fresh). When we jar fresh, we don’t add sugar.

    There are differences, even though you don’t want to see them.


  55. There are differences, even though you don’t want to see them.

    Kaylee, I just typed out the ingredients from a jar of spaghetti sauce I took right out of my fridge.

    Bully for you with the low salt shit. I can’t stand it and won’t buy it. I add salt to stuff I can. I can peaches with sugar because they are shitty without it. Your preferences might well be different but neither substance is “bad.” And FWIW, HFCS is just another type of sugar. There is none in my spaghetti sauce that I just looked at ten minutes ago, but I’m sure some brands have it. I know it’s demonized like it’s somehow the cause of war and Hillary’s defeat, but it’s just a type of sugar. Sugar is sugar is sugar, no matter what the health food types want you to believe.

    This is a ridiculous argument, by the way. You made the claim that spaghetti sauce is “highly processed.” I called bullshit. I am right. It’s not any different from what I can right in my own kitchen.


  56. dammit Sally. You just had to go and include the photo of last years’ “chili”, didn’t you? I had forgotten about it and had gone back to enjoying chili again this cold winter. Some things are hard to unsee.


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