Are you an Autonovore?


King Salmon and Halibut Fishing in Port Alexander, Alaska. I am an Autonovore. Or at least I want to be.

Recently, I was reading about a new word; Locavore. What is a Locavore? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary it means "one who eats foods grown locally whenever possible." The word comes from combining the words "local" and "vore" (as in carnivore). By the way it was the 2007 Word of the Year as stated by the Oxford American Dictionary.

The word, invented in 2005, describes those who want to eat clean, healthy, non-chemically treated food, support small, local businesses and reduce their carbon footprint by keeping transportation of foods to a minimum (within 100 miles).

Sounds good, right? I could get on board.

Except for 2 things.

1) I am not sure what the rules are, but I pretty sure it would be very difficult to be 100% Locavore. What about mangoes? Olives? Pineapple? Bananas? Don't even suggest giving up coffee! What about if you travel somewhere? What if it snows where you live? Come to think of it, no matter where the cows are raised all 1.5 billion of them will still emit the pollution into the air. Cow belching doesn't stay local.

2) This movement was created and made popular by some San Francisco hippie tree-huggers who have since made hunting somewhat trendy among hipsters. I love my lefty friends, but these are the same types who condemned me and other Sportsmen and women for years because we were gun-toting rednecks who “liked to kill” innocent animals.  On the flip side, at least they have come to their senses about hunting (told ya so) but I’m not over it. I might be bitter for a while.

I didn't really get interested in my food, where it came from, what it ate, the kind of life it lived until I became pregnant with my first daughter. My need to consume clean, organic, un-processed, hormone-free, pesticide-free foods was more than about just me. If you have seen any of the numerous documentaries out there about where our meat comes from and how it’s processed you know what I mean. Hunting for food made so much more sense. The animal lived a clean, free, happy life. I could feel really good about what I hunted for (surf or turf) and what I was feeding my kids.

When describing our South Florida diving adventures to others I had always described it as “eat what you catch.” If you catch it, hook it, spear it, etc. you clean it and eat it. There really isn’t anything more natural about that process. Same with hunting. To know that if it came down to it, you could survive is a really awesome feeing.

So if Locavores eat local foods, then I am deciding to try and be an Autonovore. Autonomous meaning independent, self-sustaining, hunter-gatherer. In a perfect world we would eat what we catch or grow and for centuries this is what human-kind did. Grow the fruits and vegetables we need and eat the meat we hunt. It is not lost on me that this makes me sound like the tree-hugging hippies mentioned earlier. I am also a realist. I still need bread and milk for the kiddos lunches and what would childhood be without a Twinkie or two? At least I can try to start with my meat. If I could hunt or fish for my family’s protein source and not have to buy from the grocery I am making a little difference and I can feel good about that.