Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chicken Math

I feel like I'm about to break some sort of sacred blog rule by posting an entry immediately following my husband's; but hey, I'm a newbie when it comes to the whole blog thing so I'm sure everyone can forgive me. 

I love math. If there was any sort of future for math majors besides teaching or.... I don't know what, I might have gone to college for math. But, even with my love of math, there was one mathematical principle that was unknown to me until just recently: Chicken Math. That wonderful exponential equation where a person starts out with say 1 to 6 chickens and then quite quickly ends up with enough to warrant fencing in more of their property. It seems like life in general is under the same equation that relates to Chicken Math. You start out with one, small idea and quicker than you realize it expands and begins to take over your whole life. This can be good or bad. I pray that in my case it's a good thing.

My small idea began with bread. After casually trying to read the list of ingredients in our generic white bread and realizing I couldn't, easily anyway, that got me to thinking. How much of the stuff in this bread is necessary? How much of it is to make sure it'll stay fresh for a month or to add back all the good vitamins and minerals that where bleached out while making it? Do I really need to be eating this stuff? And what about my kids? What would eating this stuff do to my kids? I'd been eating it my whole life and look at me! ; ) So I began looking into making bread. What was so difficult and mysterious about this process that no one I knew did it? Want some biscuits? Ether grab a box of Bisquick or, easier still, just pop open a terrifying container of already made buttery biscuits and put them in the oven! : D I expected to find that it involved some hard to find or expensive ingredient, or that it involved an expensive piece of equipment to accomplish; but it didn't. All I needed was to mix flour, yeast, sugar, milk and butter in the appropriate amounts and I got dough! Now it did involve a little time, roughly an hour of actual labor and several of inactivity, but over all it was pretty easy. So why is it that more people don't bake their own bread? Why is it so many people live their whole lives without knowing how wonderful it is to sink your hands into warm dough and knead it to a perfect soft smooth consistency. It's one of the most therapeutic experiences imaginable. Can they honestly not care? Are they really content to go to the store and purchase bread with no clue where the ingredients it contains came from? Do they not think about the fact that that bread has probably never been touched by human hands? Do they ever wonder how their great grandparents and their parents before them got bread? I honestly don't know. I hope that they think about those things and more as they contemplate the choices they make when they shop for the food that is going to feed their families. That they remember, everything they put in or on their bodies is taken in and used to build them. We are made from the food we eat. Our bodies break down our food and use it to rebuild cells that need repair and to make new ones that have died. When my daughter was born she had never tasted food. She was made, 100%, from the food choices I made while pregnant. We joke that when our children were born they were made from Wendy's, but what does that say about us? Wouldn't it be better to say that when our children were born they were made from fruits and vegetables that we'd grown in our yard? That the proteins in their bodies came from the chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows that we had carefully raised on our pastures then processed with our own hands? I think it would. 

And there goes that Chicken Math. You start out with bread and you end up with your entire view on food and what it is flipped upside down. One small and surprisingly simple thing making you re-think your entire way of life. With the Lord's strength and guidance I pray that it won't simply end with thinking. 

Only by the Lord's mercy and grace,


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