Let me start by saying, I support people's food choices. Especially for health reasons. My hope for mankind in general is that everyone has access to affordable, clean, whole foods and pure water.
That being said, I have recently become a target for "gluten free" and "vegan" assassins! This is just my own experience, and I am coming from a place where I have a gluten sensitive child and I myself embrace a raw vegan diet several weeks throughout the year. But I am also a traditional baker who sells at a public market and for some reason have become the go-to target for these militant food freaks who try to virtue signal me into the ground! The smug imperialism backed by almost no working knowledge of the actual foods they are campaigning against is what floors me!
Case in point, an overweight middle age couple walks over to my booth and intently checks out every loaf of bread and every sign, fingers on chins kind of inspection, complete with condescending "hmmmm", "oh!", and "oh wow"s. At this point I gear myself up, cuz this ain't my first rodeo honey...
"How much are your loaves?" the lady asks after clearly reading the 3 signs I have strategically placed around the tables. "$6.50 for one or two for $12" I say. "Hmmmmmmmm" she says. "And are they gluten free and Vegan?"
At this point, I feel my blood turn to acid. If my products were gluten free vegan burlap lumberjack THEY WOULD SAY SO! MY SIGNS WOULD SAY SO! THE LABELS ON THE VERY PRODUCTS THEMSELVES THAT YOU JUST READ WOULD LIST THE GLUTEN FREE INGREDIENTS!
She didn't want to know if they were gluten free vegan, she wanted to start a convo about HERSELF.
So these two dimwitted narcissists begin tag-teaming me and my 14-yr old son with their amazing feats of misinformation, including but not limited to:
*ALL eggs have dead babies in them.
*a vegan and gluten free diet is the only one that works and is healthy for every person on the planet (says the very fat man who looks like his liver is failing and he can barely put together a coherent sentence).
only Vegan gluten free bakers deserve a "real" bakery where she can charge $10 each loaf or $3 PER SLICE, and that's why I am selling at an OUTSIDE market (insert smug smile and eyes looking down on me here).
Ok, deep breath. Calm now cowgirl. This heifer in front of you means no harm, she's just another in a sea of the uneducated masses. Find her weakness and rope her in!
I say, "Oh, that's great! There is a real need for local gluten free products. The stuff at the store usually doesn't taste great. I have a teenage daughter who has tried it all. So, are you a Celiac?" At this point, the smugness begins to fade. "Well, no, but I'm sensitive. And I have a restaurant and we're doing so good that we're going to open another near Orlando". I say "Oh, that's great! I hope you do well. When I had my first daughter at a birthing center near there, there was nothing! Now there's a Cafe 118* (raw foods) and so many other places to visit" (that's right honey, you picked the wrong actual lumberjack to mess with!) My son says that it was at this point the lady began to crumble, so the fat man decided it was his turn to shred me and my products.
"So, ya know, all of your bread and cookies here contain dead baby chickens, right?"
"Sure! Oh my god, you call yourself a baker and you don't know about eggs?!?!"
"Actually, sir, I call myself a farmer who has 200 chickens and I can assure you that without a rooster having access to the hens, THERE ARE NO DEAD BABIES in the eggs or in my baked goods!"
He looks at me like someone who really wants to fight about it and says, I kid you not "Well, the chicken is dead".
"What chicken is dead?" I ask.
"The chicken that laid the egg" he said with seriousness.
At this point, I'm looking for Ashton Kutcher to come around the corner and yell PUNKED! But no, sadly, this aging overweight vegan warrior is actually telling me, a farmer, that ALL eggs have dead babies in them and that the chicken dies after it lays the egg. OH. MY. GOODNESS. This guys head is actually a wind tunnel. Deep breath again...
So to make this part short, I explain to him that "a rooster and a hen have to mate in order to make a baby chicken in the egg. The hen has to live after that because she will go on to lay several more fertile eggs over the next week or so, then proceed to sit on them for about 3 weeks to incubate them. If there is no access to a rooster, then every egg she lays is just a perfectly packaged gift of the 9 chain amino acids that builds muscle, along with a perfect balance of fat and cholesterol that aids our brains and stem cells. Laying the infertile egg is something the chicken will do every day, and consuming it will not harm the chicken in any way shape or form. IN FACT, NOT taking the egg will actually just bait snakes and fire ants to her nest, which may actually lead to her demise".
He literally stared at me for a solid 15 seconds, then exclaimed "Well, it's STILL an animal protien, so NO", and spins around and walks away to have a healthy smoke!
The lady has been taking in the convo and decides she doesn't know enough about chickens to argue, but she still stands there for some reason. So I say "Well, I hope your new restaurant does as well as the first. I'll have to stop in with my daughter sometime".
And then it slips.
"My boss says she doesn't know when it will be open" OOPS FACE! SHE DOESN'T EVEN OWN THE PLACE! HAHAHAHA!
She then tells me how she bakes from the restaurant, using their ingredients, and sells the product outside the store with her name on it and her son is making her a website to sell online blah blah blah. EVERY SINGLE THING SHE IS DOING IS ILLEGAL IN FLORIDA!
I FREAKING KNEW IT!
I pull out my phone and direct her to the Florida Cottage Food Laws website and show her the many ways she will get fined. I really don't want that for her. I can see she is passionate about gluten-free baking and there is a need for it, so I want her to give it her best shot and allow the market to decide if her stuff is worth it or not. She shouldn't get taken down because she sold some bread online to a happy customer. She thanks me and, with a now humble voice, she says "Please, take my number down. I want to send your daughter a free loaf of bread".
This!! This is what we should be about! Helping each other and networking (especially us ladies). If everyone would just drop the notion that having "better" food makes you an elite, maybe we could get somewhere with bringing healthier, cleaner food to the public without the health food store prices.
All in all, I'm glad I kept MY cool (wouldn't want to come off as a smug farmer Lol), and I feel that this lady is someone I could help in the future, if her product is good.
Her male counterpart, however, needs to go back to primary school!
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