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How Can Hunting Build Healthy Food Relationships?

Elk Walking Into The Forest

With a growing concern about the food we eat, more people are becoming involved in the food movement. Food being one of the things that is a fundamental need, it is devastating when I see people eating mass-produced food that has the nutritional value of a piece of chalk.

In today’s world, quick and convenient seems to be the norm — what is the easiest thing to cook and cheapest thing to buy in order to fill my stomach? With this norm, we see obesity and health care epidemics at all-time highs with no foreseeable end to the problem. I write this article out of both frustration and hope that we can change our relation with food and how we both obtain and prepare it.

Examining Our Relationship with Food

The relationship we share with our food should be one of respect and awareness, being able to say where my food came from and how it came to sit on my plate is something that brings the reality of what food truly is to the forefront.

Food is not something that should come from a cardboard box with dino fingers stamped on the front in big, bold letters. I often hear that this type of food is enticing, because it is both cheap and plentiful, meaning I can buy a lot of it to feed my family and still have money left over. Why is something as important as food one of the things that we feel the need to cheap out on?

I believe it’s because we have become so far detached from what we are actually eating that food is no longer something that we treasure but something that is just another part of our day. It’s sad to think that people believe a chicken nugget or pizza pop is something that constitutes a real meal.

Hunting for Food Self Sufficiency

Now many of you may realize that I am a hunter. To me, being a hunter is something that I am extremely proud of. I know where my food is coming from: mountains and valleys of British Columbia. Bing able to say this is something that I treasure and take as extremely important.

The intimate relationship that is shared with that animal is of the highest respect — you have the honor of knowing the process that it took to harvest and process that animal. If you truly want free-range and pastured meat, then hunting is king.

I believe that if more people can become involved in hunting, we can develop a conversation that leads to one of knowledge and respect when it comes to our food and environment. Hunting is something that I truly believe to be important; understanding our relationship within the natural world is often lost on a lot of us.

Being able to connect with nature in her rawest form is something that should be experienced by everybody, understanding the value of a life engrains a sense of appreciation and kindness that otherwise is lost. We can’t take our food for granted! Understanding where it comes from is something that should be put number one.

Pastured Meat When Hunting Isn’t an Option

I also realize that not everybody has opportunity to be in an area that can support or provide the natural resources to hunt large game animals. In this case, local producers that are raising meat products in a way in which is both sustainable and healthy is an alternative.

If you are not able to go out participate in hunting, then I plead with you to buy food that is produced in a way that promotes sustainability. This means finding your local butcher or farmer and buying from them, stop buying food that is cheap, and demanding quality! We have to become a culture that promotes food in a way that we can be proud to say where it comes from.

Randy Haviland is a wildlife biologist from British Columbia, Canada, as a hunter he has extreme passion for the wilderness and the wildlife that call it home. By teaching how hunting can provide the highest quality of food available, Randy encourages people to challenge their former notions of hunting and look at it not as simply killing, but the process required for supplying your family with top-quality food. Find him at RandyHaviland.com, on Facebook and Instagram.


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