Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Things Have Really Changed

Almost 30 years ago, Stan and I were living in Tribune, Kansas. Wheat harvest was just beginning. To help out harvestors and to try to make some extra money, my best friend, Cathy, and I decided to have a temporary business which offered meals and laundering of clothing to the harvestors. For 2 or 3 weeks, we sold food and we washed M-A-N-Y clothes for the people in the county who either were wheat farmers or the people who were there to cut wheat. It was quite a learning experience for Cathy and me, both! LOL!!! Not once, did the people of Greeley County feel like they needed to complain to the food or laundry agencies. LOL!!!

Yesterday, I began thinking about the 'good ol' days' and thought that we might offer to cook meals for harvestors. I had absolutely NO desire to make this a regular business! Unfortunately, I had not thought out the whole process BEFORE I posted it here. Shortly after we went to bed last night, I decided that we would not be able to do it afterall. Why not?

1. I remembered that I was 20 or 21 back then. Today I am much older than I was back then. I have slowed down considerably since then.

2. I already have two jobs. Cooking extra meals for others would probably not allow me to perform my yearround jobs as well as they needed to be done.

3. Late June and early July are not months when many of us look forward to baking breads and rolls. Our house would have been much toastier than what we would normally have wanted.

4. I had not considered the fact that my temporary business may have taken a little bit of business away from Wichita County restaurants and convenience stores.

I made up my mind that I would remove that post from my blog this morning. When I got up this morning, I completely forgot about the cooking post. I did some research and posted information about the worsening problem that we have with bed bugs. Once I finished posting that information, I decided to go to work on attaching the border porcelain tiles in our master bathroom. While my hands were getting covered with Mastic, the adhesive for tile, I received a phone call. The person on the other end of the line was a very nice lady from the Kansas State Department of Health. She had received an "anonymous" complaint from someone who had read on my blog that we were interested in preparing meals for harvestors. The State's representative told me that in order to serve food to the public, I would have to prepare and cook the food in a kitchen that had been certified by the State.

I completely understood what she had to say and assured her that I had already changed my mind and was no longer interested in following through with yesterday's idea.

I then washed off my sticky hands and made my way to the computer. I pulled up my blog and deleted that post. After I had done this, I called the agent and gave her my blog's address so that she could go online and see for herself that it had been deleted. No, I was not asked to do this. I just wanted to make sure that she knew that I had followed through with my deletion.

Honestly, I totally agree with most, if not all, of the government's regulations on how and where the public's food is prepared. I am a real germ-a-phobe. But I would like to go a bit further on this.

We are approached regularly by various people who are preparing a variety of foods that these people have cooked in their own homes. The people who have cooked this food, did so for the purpose of making money. They prepare the food. They offer it to us at a certain price. But now it is up to us to decide whether or not we want to purchase it. If we know the people well and know that their food would be prepared in very clean and safe conditions, we will buy it. If we are not positive that the food that they are trying to sell to us was cooked in a clean, safe environment, we respectfully decline to purchase the food. Stan nor I ever felt like we were being forced to buy it. We would not have contacted any agency to tattle. We live in the United States of America. I thought that free enterprise was totally acceptable.

This leads me to this. Since someone saw it fit that we needed to be stopped, what is next? Is that person or others going to feel obligated to turn in people who sell cooked foods in such places as farmer's markets, carnivals, school and church fundraisers? What about individuals who prepare wedding cakes, birthday cakes, etc who are working out of their own kitchens? I am not the least bit concerned about purchasing these cakes from people whom I know and trust to give me high quality and safe products. What about caterers? I have enjoyed quite a few meals that were prepared by local caterers. I always knew who these people were and completely trusted the caterers with my food! Personally, I think that some of us are getting way too much involved in things that probably are none of their business.

Just a thought or two...


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