Friday, April 5, 2013

Off the sustenance grid, we like wild food

I haven't bought beef in over 10 years, but I have purchased fish, turkey, chicken and pork on sale. The cheapest I have EVER seen chicken breast was $1.59 per pound, and boneless pork about $1.79 a pound. Turkey breast and fish are always a lot more.

But the deer hubby recently got probably netted between 80 and 100 pounds of meat. He spent $17.50 on a deer license and $95 at the processors to make roasts, steaks and ground meat. At 80 pounds, the cost would be around $1.40 per pound. At 100 pounds, it is $1.12 per pound, with some added for the annual hunting/fishing license though that is dispersed among everything we get in the course of a year. Either way, the cost of the meat is more economical or at the very least comparable to what you can find on super sale at the store.

Turkey tags are $12.50 a piece, so the price is fairly comparable to store-bought breast but they taste FANTASTIC.

Pheasant, quail and dove are wonderful alternatives, without a permit required, and there is also a bull frog and rabbit season. A hunting/fishing license is $38 per year in Kansas and could easily provide enough food for a family, plus it gets everyone outdoors, exercising and connecting with the land and the source of their nutrition.

Beyond the monetary and fitness considerations, there are other reasons for relying on hunted meat. There has been controversy over the years about the condition of slaughterhouses, poor treatment of animals, chemicals in meat and genetic modification. These concerns do not apply, in my opinion, to meat taken in the wild.

It also keeps a hunter's skills sharp. We've all heard about this doomsday or that doomsday, pretty much since the Y2K frenzy. I've watched enough post-apocalyptic sci-fi movies to believe that we could someday find ourselves in a very difficult situation. If that happens, I would want to be some place where hunting is the norm, where meat could be provided outside of the grocery store. Living "off the grid" so to speak, but instead of the electrical grid, off the sustenance grid.

The longer I live here in the boonies, the more I want to become self sufficient. The sense of empowerment in providing food - in the form of meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts - is one of the most rewarding feelings I've ever had.

So that must be why the hunted and gathered food tastes the best. It's flavored with accomplishment and hard work and security and thankfulness. That's the best seasoning in the world.

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