Is there anything quite like a summer salad, where the majority of the food on your plate was grown in your garden? Carrots are crisper. Tomatoes taste more intense. Even the lettuce is better than you ever recall lettuce tasting. Maybe it’s that the actual flavor is different – but maybe the difference lies in the fact that you grew these fruits and vegetables yourself.
A sense of accomplishment and satisfaction comes from hard work. And, don’t kid yourself: gardening is hard work. Prepping soil, pulling weeds, planting seeds, watering, trimming, harvesting – a lot of effort and time goes into growing your own garden. And the end result – a delicious vegetable – often tastes a little better if you grew it yourself.
Eating What You Hunt.
The same can be said of hunting. Putting in the time and effort to do what it takes to go from your couch to having a deer – or elk – cut and wrapped in your freezer is a significant task. It can be a months-long endeavor that requires waking up in the dark, hiking in the dark, enduring freezing temperatures and long miles on the road and on foot. But when that venison steak comes off the grill and lands on your plate, there is a sense of pride and accomplishment that acts as a special sauce for every bite you take.
We live in a time where virtually everything we want is at our fingertips. By simple tapping your phone a few times you can get anything you want delivered to your door within a day or two. And, as much as the hunting industry tries to sell us on products that make hunting easier – or hunters more successful – you still have to put in the effort.
Hunting— The Ultimate Farm To Table.
There are a lot of similarities between the Farm to Table movement and hunting. At the core of it is that people want to be connected to their food. For eons, human beings’ main job in life was to acquire food to eat. Whether that was walking through the forest and gathering nuts and seeds, using rocks and sticks to steer fish into a trap, or using spears to take down an auroch, food acquisition is part of who we are as people.
If you’re 100 years old or less, processed foods have been around for your entire life. Convenient, tasty, and calorie-packed – these foods have shaped our society. So much so that the majority of us give zero thought to where the food comes from that we put into our mouths. But that is starting to change.
A Healthier Lifestyle
My wife gardens and tends to our chickens and I hunt. Last year I shot and butchered a deer, a bighorn ewe and a cow elk. She started gardening in the greenhouse in April and continued until mid-October. The sense of pride that I see on her face when she brings a basket of fresh tomatoes and peppers into the house is exactly how I feel when I put the last package of cut and wrapped elk backstrap into the freezer.
The food we eat is healthy. We know where it comes from and we feel connected to it.