1. So my family can have high-quality processed foods that we can afford. I can drive across town and pay big bucks for a tiny jar of mediocre imported harissa, or I can make several jars myself from what’s in the garden, farmers’ market, and already in my pantry for the same amount of cash.
2. Knowing each ingredient. I know exactly what’s in each loaf of bread, pound of sausage, and jar of jam that I make. If you’ve ever spent time reading ingredient labels in grocery stores because you’re trying to avoid common processed-food ingredients like soybean oil, corn syrup, or food dyes, you know they’re difficult to avoid in some foods. (Ever tried finding barbeque sauce without corn syrup?) As more and more people attempt to repair their health by changing their diets, this reason is going to get more and more common.
3. Connecting with the land. Connecting with the land we live on by eating food grown and produced here is one of the underlying reasons for most of my food decisions. Not only eating local food, but developing a taste for food grown on this land is incredibly important to me. It is the opposite of sterile, packaged, homogenized “fast” food. This not only goes for local produce, but meat, too. I want my kids to grow up and say “this bacon is not as good as my Mom’s bacon“.
4. Supporting local farmers and the local economy. This one should be a given. There’s no salt produced locally, but I can buy salt at the independent grocer. Pepper doesn’t grow here, but I can buy it at the neighborhood Asian grocer.
5. Curiosity and enjoyment. Consider it “building a strong post-apocalypse skill set”. I enjoy finding out how foods are made and then trying it myself. It’s too much unnecessary work to do without truly enjoying doing it.
6. Flavor! My homemade chorizo knocks the pants off anything I can buy at the store. Homemade cornbread has ruined me for Jiffy mix forever. I make better blueberry syrup than Smuckers could ever dream of. My orange liqueurs are the stuff of legends. I’m working on improving my skills in producing pickles, condiments, and more complex charcuterie with every delicious experiment. It can be healthy, locally-sourced, and inexpensive… but if it’s not delicious, why bother with the rest?
Why do you DIY?