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I think of our Amish neighbors as self-sustaining, but really? They buy lots of things at retail outlets, and they also have their own retail outlet. While they don't use a scanner to check you out, the products they stock to resell either come packaged with barcodes printed on the label, or they use ingredients (flour, sugar, yeast) from barcoded packages to make their donuts and bread and pies.
I used to be friends with a homesteading couple who purchased very little food, but they still couldn't raise sugar or coffee, olives (for oil) or enough lemons to drink lemonade all summer. They bought bread flour and salad dressing mix, Country Time Lemonade in a big tub, along with spices, chocolate, yeast and other baking ingredients.
They probably come closest to eating nothing with a barcode than anyone I've ever known. They make their own bread, pasta, cheese (cottage, mozzarella, cheddar), butter and yogurt, and of course they grow and preserve vegetables and fruit. They raise chickens for eggs and meat, and kill a deer or two every fall.
They're well-nourished, in other words, but it takes a lot of work. My pantry is paltry compared to theirs, which is filled with hundreds of jars of homegrown produce.
All that said, I still try to limit my consumption of processed foods. I buy crackers and pasta, because it's easier, although I certainly have the time, skills and equipment to make them. You need vinegar and sugar to preserve cucumbers, and lots more sugar to preserve fruit. I'm not raising pigs, and therefore not rendering lard, so I have to buy that (or shortening) if I want to make a pie now and then.
I'm only getting onions and celery from the garden now, so I'll be stocking up on carrots, greens (and I could totally be harvesting greens if I'd gotten my act together in August and planted seeds then), potatoes and the like.
I've turned myself into a perimeter shopper. Oh, I wander up and down the grocery aisles, because you never know what you might find, but most of my food purchases are stocked around the edge of the store. That's where you'll find the fresh stuff. It may have a barcode, but it's less processed than anything that comes in a box.
How about you? Is it important to you to serve homemade food to your family (or yourself)? Do you have the time and energy to do as much as you'd like? I certainly don't! When a recipe calls for an ingredient that you could make (frozen pizza dough, prepared pie crust), do you make it instead?
I've been called a food snob, and I apologize in advance if that's how I'm coming across. That innocent remark at the dinner table really did make me think about my food philosophy. How about you?