Yesterday I wrote about issues concerning food banks and clients. Here’s another part of the reason that gets good food tossed.
We must eat meat. We hear it all the time. The beef industry lobbied hard a few years back because Canada’s Food Guide came out with an emphasis on beans and other sources of protein. It was intolerable.
Before this gets any further our beef industry is currently hurting and needs some good public relations. Acting like this, out of fear, hasn’t done it any good.
I like beef. We had tenderloin last night marinated in a honey-wheat beer with garlic, cumin, and hot pepper. But a few days earlier I made baked beans from scratch. The white beans, molasses and demerara sugar in it were from the food bank. It was lighter fare, but filling, and a good source of protein.
But the message in Cattle County is clear and that means there’s not a lot of info made available about beans despite the fact they’re grown in southern Alberta right along with the feedlots.
Many commenters yesterday suggested providing information at the food banks about how to prepare foods like beans, lentils, chickpeas and the like. It’s a great idea, but it’s just the start. I say teach it in school.
Not Home Ec.,but agricultural studies. Teach the kids where the food is from and how it’s grown and harvested. Then explain how it gets from the bag on the shelf to the plate.
It’s sad that scratch food prep has to be taught this way, but if no one knows it at home, how else can it be done? Cooking real food is getting to be a lost art.
Most of us know that beer comes from malt barley. But do we known that other varieties of barley are make into flour and that pot and pearl barley make a great side dish?
I made some the other night. The ratio is 2:1 liquid to barley. The pot barley was from the food bank, so was the quarter-cup apple cider vinegar I added in, as was the aforementioned demerera sugar I used to help kick up the crushed dried mint I’d used for flavoring. Cover with a lid and stick in the oven at 350 for an hour. I served it with roasted lamb coated with a mild curry paste courtesy the food bank.
I didn’t always know what to do with barley, beans, chickpeas, lentils and other dried foods. I had to ask. I looked up recipes on the Internet. I played around to see what worked.
We’re pressured into believed we must have meat. Many poor people, food bank clients or not, will buy hot dogs filled with sodium and chemicals and meat byproducts when they could get more for their money with peas, beans, lentils, barely, rice, and many other dried foods.
We need the information made available on foods and scratch food preparation before the knowledge dies out with the last great-grandmother.