If you could only eat what you were willing to grow and kill yourself, what would your diet look like?
Let’s start with some facts.
Fact #1: I don’t hunt. It has nothing to do with ethics and everything to do with a lack of know-how and opportunity. I also don’t fish (minus the extremely rare occasion here or there).
Fact #2: I used to have a green thumb. With Texas plants, I’ve been having a horrid time. However, I think it’s a combination of bad luck (my cat pissed in my pots!), poor planning (non-Texas plants in Texas), and adjustment (forgetting that an outdoors Texas plant will not like the sudden cold of my indoor, air-conditioned house). Outside of my Texas experience, I’ve always had a green thumb and been just fine growing any number of plants.
Fact #3: I’m an adventurous eater. I’ve purposefully sought out “strange” foods, like blood sausage, chicken heart stew, and ostrich. I enjoy trying new things, and I’m not squeamish about it.
Now, my answer to the original question. What would my diet look like?
First of all, I’d no longer be eating breads and pastas. Wheat is not a plant I’d want to expend energy and resources trying to cultivate. My foods would be things like cucumbers, bottleneck squash, and tomatoes. I’d grow root veggies, though having never done so I’d probably learn how to do so the hard way. I’d also try to cultivate berries and fruit trees; however, the trees would be planted and left to thrive or die (they take a couple years to be producers, from what I recall). I’d want low-maintenance foods, and if the chance were provided before having to grow on my own, I’d do a TON of research on what does well in Texas naturally.
Secondly, I’d still eat meat. Mind you, I lack the skills to hunt. I wouldn’t be eating cow, pig, or deer unless someone taught me those skills (and provided equipment for it) or traded me for some of my veggies. However, I have no problem fishing and catching things like crawfish. Also, I know I could wring a chicken or rabbit’s neck if I wanted meat. As I said, I’m not squeamish. Pigeons would be nice, too, assuming I had access to urban areas and a net (hehehe).
Lastly, I wouldn’t waste. I don’t kill the chickens and cows that make their way to my dinner table. But if I were in a situation where I was killing my own chicken for dinner, I’d definitely be cooking any and all organ meats. The same thought applies to all animals; I’d finally be able to take part in making the most of an animal’s sacrifice.
My final thoughts on this question is that it would all depend. Why am I only able to eat what I grow and kill? If it’s because of a social shift, like everyone in this town is doing it or something, then there’s a gradual build up to self-maintenance of food sources. But if it were a apocalyptic situation, all decisions would depend on the overall state of humanity. (Meaning, if there are zombies walking around I’m not planting a garden outside.)
I also know that some of my friends would become vegetarians. They admittedly couldn’t bring themselves to kill an animal (other than small fish or crawfish) on their own. I can understand that, in a society where many of us never interact with an animal other than a cat or dog at home. We don’t understand our food sources except in a distant, disconnected way. Maybe that will change… maybe…