I love our farm fresh eggs. Raw milk from our neighbor’s cow is fantastic. I go out of my way to bring home grass fed beef, free range chickens, and you should have seen the pastured turkey we ordered at Thanksgiving. Well here, let me just show you again:
I believe we can all agree that this fella was one of the healthiest, meatiest, happiest little (giant) free range turkeys around.
There is no question that free range, grass fed, pasture raised animals with college degrees produce a more nutritious food compared to that which is produced from animals raised in less healthy environments. There is also no question that these food products can be very expensive and/or difficult to obtain.
Sometimes, buying these farm raised products is just too far outside of the budget. Sometimes, there’s not a free range critter to be found anywhere close to where you live. So if you are someone who is not able to put free range food on the table, will you please stop feeling bad about it?
God is bigger than a free range chicken, yes? This means that He is also bigger than a chicken that is raised in less than perfect circumstances. By golly, He’s even bigger than the turkey that wouldn’t fit in my pan at Thanksgiving, and that was one huge turkey.
Not able to make a meatloaf with grass fed beef? Raw milk too far outside your budget? Stop feeling guilty. Stop worrying. God knows your desires and your ideals for your family. He will bless your efforts to feed your family nutritious food.
Continue seeking out healthy options that will work for your family. Maybe an affordable free range chicken will find its way to your front porch someday soon. In the meantime, know that just because you don’t have access to the healthiest meat, eggs, and milk in town doesn’t mean you should throw your hands in the air and give up on eating real food. A store-bought egg scrambled up in butter or coconut oil is still loads better for you than any processed food that comes in a box which contains 62 ingredients. Loads better. It’s still an egg. That means it’s a real food. Relax.
God is big, bigger, biggest. Take all the complicated details out of the process of switching your kitchen to a real food kitchen, and just focus on going back to the basics – whatever that may look like for you right now.
So what does that look like for you right now? Have you found peace in your circumstances with food sources?
Janelle @ The Smudge Curve says
When I first embarked on transitioning to real food I *had* to change everything RIGHT NOW (type A personality anyone?). I’ve since learned to back off a bit, especially because during this season of life (with small kiddos), the idea of hunting high and low for food does not sound appealing. I would definitely like to get to that point — where I have the time and energy to search for the best in my area — but right now I’m fine with doing the best I can at a couple of grocery stores (which actually isn’t that bad at all).
While I do believe eating healthy is an act of good stewardship, God has our days numbered. Thankfully he IS bigger than your turkey! ;-)
Christopher Ross says
You can find free roosters on craigslist all the time. Sometimes even free old hens. All you need is a knife and a pot of boiling water and you’ll have a great tasting chicken that is tons more healthy than some factory farm chicken. Watch YouTube to learn to butcher a chicken.
I needed to hear this today. My daughter is just starting to eat solids, and I have been panicking about not being able to get high quality dairy and meat for her. The thought of putting all that junk into her tiny body just freaks me out!!! But I would have to go back to work to afford grass fed beef. I need to remember she needs me more than raw milk (cow’s milk, that is. She gets plenty of raw milk from me now that I think about it!!) And that God is big enough to cover this!!!!
Your blog is so refreshing. I have been on my real food journey for a few years now, and there have been seasons where I have money and time to seek out grass fed/free range/raw…I’m not in that season right now. And that’s okay! I picked up a 30 pack of eggs from HyVee last night for $4, and we’ll cook them in real butter and coconut oil! My children get processed cereal at a friend’s house about 3 times a year, and they love it. And I love that I feed them real food at home. You are so great for encouraging homemakers the way you do! God is good.
Fletcher R. says
Thanks for the post, Laura! After having our own cow in the freezer and eating on her for a year and a half I REFUSE to go back to store bought burger. I long for the day when we have another of our cows in the freezer, but in the meantime we just don’t eat as much beef.
You have been an inspiration to me to make small changes along the way (the coconut oil in my morning coffee is such a pleasure!). I do feel guilty sometimes that I can’t buy all organic and I haven’t found a source for free-range chicken, but we are still so much healthier than we were a couple of years ago. God is so faithful!
Thank you, Laura! Love this…and so encouraged to see this perspective from a blogger/mom I so respect. You carry such balance … You are appreciated!
I love this post! I try to make whole, healthy food for my family, though it is always conventional. We simply can’t afford to pay extra for organics, free range, grass fed, etc. Sometimes I feel bad about that, but we also need heat and water, right? The important thing is that we do the best we can within our means.
Ruth A. Stiles says
I grew up on a dairy farm and we drank our own milk. My grandmother raised chickens so we always had eggs and we even butchered our own chickens every year to fill the freezer! Although it is hard work I think in the end there is a real sense of satisfaction at eating what you know is yours!
By the way – the picture of your turkey in that tiny roasting pan cracks me up. Although I know it is not a tiny pan!
Thanks Laura for your post. As a student family on a very tight budget ( don’t want to get into debt for some ‘happy’ eggs) we eat healthy but within our budget. Both costco and aldi carry some organic range at very reasonable price. YOu are so right God is bigger than the (your) turkey :)!
What is the difference between organic meat vs. grass fed meat?
Organic meat is from animals not given hormones or antibiotics, which is great. But it is from animals that are likely still fed grains (though they are organic). Grass fed meat is the best as it comes from animals who free range, eating only grass, which is best for them! But definitely, either choice is better. BUT God is bigger than them all!
Love this. Love your passion for health, and love your gracious spirit in the way you pursue it. I could just FEEL the sigh of relief I would be breathing if I was a pressured mama reading this. …Actually, I needed a bit of this reminder myself! As a single young woman who can’t afford all the healthy food she wants to buy, it’s nice to be reminded that God knows that. Thank you! Blessings!
Amen! There is such peace and joy in the Jehovah-Jireh diet … The Lord WILL provide:)
Karen Dee says
Thank you Laura! I often had these thoughts too. God will not let me get sick or die just because I can not afford grass fed beef or can’t find any. I have my eggs, raise my own chickens for the year and that has to do. I have grass fed burger in the freezer. Enough till spring/summer. Trying to get a line on more. But, that’s my thought….God will keep me healthy as long as it is a desire of my heart and I am doing my best. It certainly helps that all I have to feed is me! :)Yes!Jehovah- Jireh,our provider!
God is Bigger Than a Free Range Chicken sounds like the title of a Veggie Tales video. :-) Great post Laura.
I know this, but I don’t “know” this. Thanks for the reminder.
Jennifer M says
This was so good to read. My husband used to be able to hunt and get us venison every year, which I loved, but recently we haven’t had any so I’ve had to shop for beef at the supermarket. And after hearing news stories about what is or can be in chicken, I am hesitant about buying chicken. I actually feel paralyzed almost about buying any meat from a store. When I occasionally buy local chicken from the farmers around here, it is a $16 chicken for our family of 6. When we figure going out to dinner would cost more than that, it sounds cost effective. But if I compare it with buying a goldn’ plump at the store for $4.50, it is hard to justify, especially on an extremely tight budget. When I looked to buy a turkey for thanksgiving this year, it would have cost me almost $70 for a regular sized turkey to feed us and our company… we just couldn’t do it. It is kind of depressing to me in a way to not be able to have the resources to feed our family the highest quality food, yet I understand that we just can’t in every way. So it was refreshing to read your post here – I love it – God is bigger than a free range chicken. It’s sooooo true :) Thank you!
THANK YOU!!! LOVE THAT! I needed to hear this! I am a total all or nothing person. Though with our diet the last year or so my husband keeps reminding me I can’t change it all overnight. So we have gone nearly no processed foods and all organic produce and anything else we can afford. We buy quarter of beef at a time from friends and just do what we can! Because that is all we CAN do:) I love this perspective tho and totally believe it! Thank you so much for pointing it out in black and white!
thanks for this blog post laura. I am sure there are many people out there who struggle with this, I know that I have. God definitely is bigger then a turkey!
Actually, I started eating local, free range, humanely raised meat after seeing an Opera episode on the appalling conditions conventionally raised farm animals live in. I have since read books like “The Omnivores Dilemma” and watched documentaries like “Food Inc.” (MUST watch movie), where I viewed these conditions first hand. Now there is NO way I could go back to conventional meat. I decided no animal should have to live a life of suffering simply so my family could eat it. I make every effort to by humanely raised, grass fed, pastured meat and eggs and organic or at least BGH free milk & dairy when I can find/afford it. Does it cost more money, sure, so we just eat less meat and and spend less on frivolous things to have a larger food budget. Do I cheat once in awhile, yes I buy a CAFO corned beef brisket every St. Patricks Day because a grass fed brisket would be $40 and I’d have to corn it myself(I feel guilty). I am blessed to live in an area with grass feed/pastured meat options both locally and at specialty grocery store. If I didn’t have these options available or I couldn’t afford them and I realize some of you live this reality, I would simply buy/serve my family even LESS meat.
Brining/corning a grass fed brisket is really simple. The tricky part is remembering to thaw it and get it going a week early. Fortunately we receive one each year when we purchase 1/4 grass fed beef, and I save it for my husband’s birthday, which is the day before St. Patrick’s Day. It’s his favorite meal. I haven’t priced the individual cut, but $40 sounds pretty ridiculous!
Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I have struggled with trying to change everything all at once, which I think totally freaked out my family. I am now focusing on changing one thing at a time and to make sure my husband is on board, I’m letting him choose what we change first. Thank you again for helping me not to feel guilty about what we can afford to change. :-)
Thank you. I had these thoughts when I started feeding my daughter
But fear is not of God and God will provide all our needs. I just do what I
Am able to do and ask God to bless the food- whatever type of food it is. As Jesus turned
Water into wine he can do anything.
I think it’s important to remember that food does not save us Jesus does!
Katrina P says
My food budget doesn’t really have a whole lot of wiggle room for more expensive versions of basic food items. So I do what I can with clearance, sales and coupons. And the one thing I do every time I’m at the grocery store is buy organic bananas. They cost $.65 per pound versus $.52 for conventional. I figure I can afford $.13 extra per pound. And it makes me feel better, even if nothing else in my cart is organic. :)
Thank you!!! I am loving this series. You are so practical and so right. I struggle with this, but our budget is only so big. I’m glad God is bigger, because I sure can’t afford free-range chicken right now, or grass-fed beef, or raw milk… I just try to do the best I can.
I buy “regular” meats, and we have plenty of meatless meals, too. BUT, I love buying bone-in chicken, because I can then make lots of broth to incorporate in even meatless meals, like cooking rice in it, sauces, soups, etc. I figure it inexpensively adds some good nutrients to otherwise vegetarian meals. Beans and rice never fill me up unless I use chicken broth in the rice…I guess it adds some protein, and fat, too?
I’ve thought about just not buying cow’s milk, but my husband loves drinking it. I also make kefir and yogurt out of some of it, so even though it’s pasteurized, at least we’re getting some probiotics.
Whole foods are still better than processed foods with 62 ingredients. AMEN!
Thank you. You are so right and I appreciate the perspective and encouragement.
Thank you, thank you Laura for not flogging me over the head with guilt because my ability to feed my children “perfect” food is lacking !!! I look after my family and according to those most special to me, inform me that I’m doing an excellent job.
michelle Hopkins says
Thank You!!! :)
Great, encouraging post Laura. Thank you :)
I wish all our eggs and meat could be grassfed but nope. Sometimes, but I certainly can’t afford to buy a dozen eggs for $4.49 (times the 4 or so dozen I buy at one time). I focus on eating as healthy as we can. For us that is mainly GF for health reasons. So that includes lots of coconut and almond flour (not cheap). Coconut oil (SOOO thankful that Costco started selling it last year because it’s much cheaper!!) And, also, thankfully, living in SoCal, we have year-round access to lots of fresh fruits and veggies and a decent garden in our yard.
Remembering that we can’t do it all and God is BIGGER is key ;)
This is a long over-due thank you, Laura. I have been following you for at least three years now, I think (my how time flies when you’re having fun!). You’ve been teaching me to cook and reminding me to trust God. Your post here was so timely, as I am recovering from eating lots of indulgent stuff over the holidays and embarking on meal planning, along with starting a month eating from the freezer and pantry. After hearing about more and more concerning reasons that make me downright fearful to buy meat (China can now distribute meat in the US with no country of origin labeling and no USDA inspections – YIKES!), your reminder that God is bigger than it all is so encouraging and calming. Thank you, Laura. I thank God for you!
D'Ann Martin says
In August of 2012, my life changed. Until reading this today, I was not sure it was for the better. I was watching Dr. Oz and he had a guest named Dr. Joel Fuhrman on his show promoting a vegan lifestyle. Before that day I was feeding my family the SAD (standard American Diet). I read his book “Eat to Live.” I panicked, started only feeding my family a strictly organic plant-based diet and started reading every book on health and veganism I could get my hands on. I started spending some serious money on this food. Often times I paid with a credit card, because I thought debt was better than poisoning my family. I found your site through Money Saving Mom.com a few months ago, and I started to eventually incorporate meat and dairy back into our diets. But I have to admit, I was still spending in the red most months buying grass fed and organic everything. I’ve been feeling total conviction lately about my high spending on food, but also total mommy guilt thinking I’m poisoning my kids and husband with pesticides, gmo’s and everything else harmful out there in the food chain. Thank you so much for smacking this girl up the side of the head with this post! My heart and ideals are right. They just don’t line up with my pocketbook right now. God knows this, and up until tonight, I guess I had forgot that. Healthy food has become an idol for me. As I write this, it’s the first time I’m admitting it. Lots of tears, and a great feeling of shame and foolishness take over me. Grace… Thank you precious Jesus for it. Ok, got to go grab me a hankie. Thank you Laura<3
Juanita Cassel says
May God continue to bless you and your family as you encourage others. Thanks for another, true to life post!
You can find healthy meats that are more affordable too. We raise pastured meats and attempt to price them so that most can afford them. Poultry will always cost more than store bought because we have to give the chickens and turkeys a grain based ration along with the pasture. Their natural diet in includes seeds, etc…… But grass finished lamb and beef can be had, in bulk quantities, for about grocery store prices. Ours is. You can find farms near you at localharvest.org and eatwild.com. If you are near southwest Missouri, check out our farm. :) My daughter who lives near Chicago found an Amish farm from Indiana that delivered in her area and his prices were terrific. Affordable and healthy meats are around and they are also getting easier to find.
Jennifer S. says
Thank you, Laura. This is what I tell myself a lot. Even if I can’t buy the best ingredients the fact that I make most of our food from scratch has got to be healthier than buying a lot of processed foods.
Sarah A says
Love this! This post is the exact opposite of what I so often encounter in people trying to follow a real food diet. For many reasons, we are not able to do organic, free-range, grass-fed, etc, right now, and I often feel judged by those mamas who do, even though we don’t eat very many processed foods.
Thank you for your graciousness, and for the reminder that even though I can’t always feed my family the *best* food, that is not what they need anyway. What they need is Jesus, and He is ALWAYS available!!
Thank you, Laura! I needed this reminder. I have been extremely discouraged by a couple of blogs the past few days who are making me feel it is all or nothing. As always, this is spot on and puts the focus back on our Heavenly Father, where it should be. He knows my desires to feed my family well, He knows my budget, and He knows best what we need and when we need it. Really, I can’t express it properly, but THANK YOU!!
This is a great post. Thank you!
Exodus 23:25 says (paraphrase) “… I will bless your food and your water…” and God has reminded me over & over this year that He wouldn’t have said that if their food didn’t need blessing, even back then! I’ve been constantly fighting the FEAR of all the junk that is in our manufactured foods but this year I feel like it’s a new season and I’m trying to do what I can & trust God to bless the rest. :)