No! I Do Not Like Green Eggs. Gimme Yellow….

Perhaps nothing better illustrates my commitment to eating all-Natural and Organic with a Capital “O”, like the color I want my eggs. And I have a couple of things “Natural” that I believe in – Natural health remedies and regimens, Natural exercising and fitness, Natural childbirth, Natural sleep patterns, Natural living, most importantly my Natural foods and drinks.

Let me also clarify that I am committed to beer. Nothing comes closer to “Natural” than the “Brown Amber Nectar”! All fermented, with all natural spring water, and all germs killed. Right! Ok. maybe I am biased, but I’ll stick to that.

N’way, back to my eggs. I am the typical fruits and veggies eater. I love and enjoy my fruits and veggies. I do not buy meat, do not fall for that temptation. Nothing against meat per se. Then and again, I may eat meat, all kinds of meat, by social co-option. Not really a chicken and turkey person, unless it is “Tofurky.

Thankfully, I have plenty of meat substitutes when I need it, -tofu, eggplant or beets, plus meatless burgers, sausages, patties and meatballs. Of course not to forget an abundance of veggies -tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, squash, cucumber, the list goes on. I take great care to shop in the “Healthy”, “Organic” and “Natural” food section in our grocery store, spending a little more to get the finest foods.

Truth be told, I cut myself some slack on fruits and veggies, purchasing some without the “O” tag, like apples, strawberries, avocados, pears, grapes, to save a buck or two. Well, that is because I failed to find a difference in taste between the “certified “Os” and non-O among this category of my main fruit and veggie shopping. Strawberries, whether certified “O” or “Non-O ” the same tasteless buds to my tongue. Avocado O or non-O certified has the same yummy taste, and so do apples, pineapples and pears I have had. So, I cannot justify spending more money for the same taste or look.

But there is no alternative to Yellow eggs! Nothing! I don’t care whether your eggs comes straight from the farm to you, yours are free range, all-natural, whatever. If they are not yellow, I am not having them, no more!

See, I grew up with chickens in my farming family. No! We were not farmers by profession, but like most families then, we grew our own food and kept a few chickens in small coops. These chickens were free-range; they woke themselves up in the morning, left for the day to wander off into places, and returned late in the evening to sleep. They found their own food, except a few times we gave them leftovers from our food. For the most part, they did not find ‘fertilized foods’ in their food hunt, but worms, leftover foods, bugs, anything and everything wandering or lying around on the ground.

When the girl-chickens, aka hen came home to lay their eggs, which were always yellow! Later, we began seeing white “eggs”, bought from grocery stores. The chicken meat got bigger too; and bigger! We started calling the hens that lay Yellow eggs, the “local” hens, meaning they are native to the county [well, each geographical region claimed those hens. Their meat was tough, too. We called the hens with “White” eggs, Mzungu hens or “White Hens, implying they were foreign/exotic or originating from the world of [western] white people. The meat of the white chickens was soft, as well.

Fast forward, this child moves to America and all there is in abundance are the “white hens and chickens”, fat, with tender meat, and boil too quick. Given my low chicken tolerance, I did not develop a love for them. Moreover, all the stories about, how chickens in America are injected with growth hormones, with chemicals not exactly healthy for human consumption, deterred me from venturing into eating chicken. With that, follows my selectivity for the eggs I consume.

I buy my eggs with labels that they are “free-range”, organic feed and naturally fertilized. I will pay an extra penny to get the most health eggs. I will not care that you get your eggs direct from the farm; not every farmer uses organic products. I will tolerate the fact that my eggs might be transported a distance away from my geographical zone, a distance from my neighborhood grocery store. For as long as they are Yellow;

No!

I will not eat Green Eggs

I do not like Green Eggs

I will not try them

I will not try them in a boat or on a goat

I will not eat them in the rain or on the train

I will eat my Yellow Eggs

America the Beautiful!

It’s been a while, since I sat down to write something thoughtful. Forget about the daily email traffic, and posts on social media. WordPress is where I share my self-inspired “non-chatty” thoughts.

I am glad though, that I am breaking this writing block with something dear and exciting. About America the Beautiful! There are so many reasons I have come to love America. Obviously, there is an ounce of sad news and sad people that shape this nation. But there is so much beauty in and about this country, its peoples and societal norms.
Especially today on this snowy day, I am reminded of the generosity and uniqueness of the American spirit. The huge snowstorm that started last night, with sleet and frozen ice, left some places in the North East without power. I live in The Independence State of Pennsylvania, which is among the areas caught up in these snowstorms. Exactly as I thought out loud the night before the storm, “I hope these indefatigable snowstorms do not leave us without power. It’s freezing up here!” But Lancaster, PA folks are not that fortunate;  left without power! Trees fell and damaged cars! Some colleges have asked students to return home until the weekend, when hopefully the power cuts will be sorted out. Terrible!
Yet, the American spirit is already alive and kicking. True, the State government is up and about, reassuring its peoples that help will come through as fast as possible. Good job and comforting! But the American social spirit of good neighborhoodliness is rolled out already, too! A good friend, in Lancaster posted on her public profile, an offer to any Lancastarians who need a place to warm up or charge their phone. The America Red Cross has set up soup kitchens and places to warm up and charge phones. And many more folks are coming through. This is America! This is the collective spirit that defines America, transcending individual(s) sentiments of bitterness, xenophobia, discrimination and hate. Those negative spirits do not define America!
Personally, I take moments like this to reflect on and ponder over the American Spirit of giving, reaching out, sharing and positive healthy living, both in my neighborhood and my American family. I live in a suburb in the Poconos. My neighborhood has plenty of “stay-at-home moms”, who I have met and interacted with, while waiting at the school bus stop. They are pretty much of mixed identity: Latina, Black, White and Arab. They are wonderful people. If I got to the bus stop late, after my son came back from school, I would trust that one of them would not leave him on his own. At times, I get a call from any one of them, in case were are late to the bus stop in the mornings. Plus, they usually help out anyone with kids who need a ride to the bus stop, for instance, if there is a 2-hour delay and mommy has to go off to work before the bus comes around, or when kids get off the bus and need a ride. They are sweet people.
Then, there is my American family. With all the drama of each family, there is a beautiful spirit among  my [son’s] American. We laugh, we share, and we party together. There is an openness among them that is beautiful and welcoming. They do not make me feel like “a foreigner”, typical of plenty of folks with whom I have interacted. Perhaps because, they are well traveled, or because they lived in New York for-ever, the most multicultural US city. They have met and interacted with folks from all walks of life, I assume. Of course the “open secret that, Grand dad – my son’s father’s step-dad, who raised him, is Puerto Rican.
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Perhaps a better illustration of  “America the Beautiful” is its diversity in food, clothing, languages, culture, origins, beliefs, recreation activities, tastes, fashion, interest, power, knowledge -endless list! I have endless experiences of things  deemed “archaic” by some in this country and other “modernizing geographical spaces”, making their way “back to the future” as trendsetters and ‘PC fads’. Goes to prove that, it is often the innocence of limited knowledge or the individual(s) dogmas that make that make people shun any experiences alien to them and/or pass judgement. For instance, the mothers at my son’s bus stop and I were talking about women stuff, when one recalled ‘the olden days’, when mothers delivered at home or on the road before they got to the health center. I told them, those ‘olden days’ are ‘now’  in my country of origin, Uganda. Indeed true as well, here in the United States, where “young trendy mothers and couples” now choose home births with Doula or midwives. Another friend in Georgia told me about ‘the olden days’ when people used kerosene lamps for light. I let her know that those “olden days” are still “present days” in Uganda, and I bet in rural America. Yes! Some parts of this country, folks use boreholes as a source of water, and wash their clothes from the barks of trees without access to a washer!
It is amazing that plenty of stuff often deemed traditional, archaic or rudimentary are now en-vogue! Picture this, folks are paying more money for membership to co-ops instead of shopping in large chain stores, for the love of easier access to more“farm fresh” or local farmers produce. Others are spending extra monies for organic produce at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Earthlight, and other large chain store that have an “organic foods section”. Ironically,  American food producers, large funders and their intellectuals activists are pushing GMO into countries of Africa in the name of “creating food security”, without issuing the same caution to consumers that is availed to the American public.  While more Americans are embracing “small [eating or shopping] is beautiful [from organic section or co-ops], plenty of Africa is moving toward mass quick production and large chain stores, including in Uganda.  Some of us have taken trouble to concern and inform ourselves of “what we eat or where we shop, and are carefully and consciously picking what we eat, so we can live longer cleaner lives, sans health disasters that have befell America, especially, high obesity and high heart diseases. Though, it is still a challenge to communicate the dangers of fast food eating and colored juices to many in Uganda. Last year, 2013, Kentucky Fried Chicken open its first franchise in Uganda to divided opinions: screams of “hell no” from plenty of Ugandans in the Diaspora vis-a-vis “bring it on” by plenty in Uganda. In South Africa, I noticed a huge consumption of deep friend fast food and colored and sugary goods, especially in the “most affordable” Shoprite supermarket, which has also set up shop in Uganda. While McDonalds and Coca Cola, two of the largest brands of quick and fast food/beverage addiction are losing market share in America, they are reaping huge sales outside the United States.
Fortunately, America the Beautiful, one can get a wide net of fresh, health, conscious and fairly-traded products. Almond, hemp or flax milk is available, so is Tofurky in place of real Turkey meat. We have access to gluten free pizza, meatless anything for the meat lovers with real meat problems. It is possible to eat food not fried in oil, but if one wants to, there are plenty of options of non-animal oil – canola, coconut, olive, sunflower, vegetable and more. We can fill our refrigerators with a variety of fruits and vegetables, and our shelves with plenty of nuts – almond, cashew, pistachios, walnuts, groundnuts, to feast on daily. We can stay gluten-free forever, and feed on raw food effortlessly!
And if you heard that “traditional marriage and family is out of vogue” in America the Beautiful, don’t believe the hype! No! Marriage is not about two people coming together, making a decision to love one another through sickness and health! Marriage is a family affair, and family as a community and clan affair. I recently witnessed a beautiful moment of two families of their soon-to-be married children coming together to review the marital contract that their two children were about to enter. The families went over what is expected of children to each other as a married couple, and to their families;  how to conduct each other once married, and what each owes to the other and to their families.  It was beautiful! It reminded me of what marriage was always about in Uganda, where I am from. Not about “blissful everyday moments”; in fact plenty of folks found themselves and found love after they were married, and stayed together as lovers not for convenience till death separated them. It was about, the meanings of marriage to the family the newly-wed were to form, and to their families of origin. It was also about their belonging in society, not “behind self-gazetted closed doors”.
At heart, I am a traditionalist, when it comes to culture and community. But then again, I am only human after all. We all pick and choose what appeals to us, and how to make it work for us….And, that’s what defines America the Beautiful!