Nature Versus Nurture?

“Ewww!”said my younger son, screwing up his nose and making terrible, traumatised faces as he drank the small glass of milk with about as much relish as if it were arsenic. “Straight from the udder?”
“‘From moo to you’ it says on the carton.”
“Completely raw? Not treated…or anything?”
“Yep. Cow juice, just as nature intended.”

I got the distinct impression that he would not be joining his older brother in his enthusiastic conversion to raw milk. I am well aware of the pros and cons of drinking unpasteurised milk, but the taste and health benefits outweigh any minor concerns about safety. The hygiene required for this nascent industry is stringent and well-regulated, and the industry too young to have grown complacent enough to take risks. And anyway, I rather like watching the ‘ladies who munch’ graze in the field while I fill my bottle with the milk they donated that morning.

“Ewww” said my elder son, the one who is into healthy eating and raw milk, screwing up his nose at the prospect of freshly picked blackberries. “There might be maggots and stuff…”
“I washed ’em.”
“Yeah but…” It is not that he doesn’t like blackberries. I had just made him a milkshake wih commercially frozen berries… berries which are just as likely to have the odd stowaway and which are not individually inspected. His younger brother, on the other hand, the one to whom raw milk is anathema, enjoys growing his own fruit and vegetables. He has no problem picking off the odd slug or eating potatoes freshly dug from the soil.

I am no better. I carefully wash the few strawberries I have from my own garden, but will happily munch on punnets of fruit bought at the roadside and with no knowledge of what, if any, hygiene measures have been employed.

I think it is the plastic. Over the past few decades we have been ‘educated’, taught to believe the supermarket myth that, if it comes in plastic, it is safe, clean food and we are okay to eat it. This may, on the whole at least, be true, but it does not mean that plasticised food is the only food worth eating or that all else is unsafe.

I grew up in a time when potatoes were still sold covered in earth… and I was fascinated by the different colours and textures of the soils that encased them, wondering how that affected their growth and taste. Fresh fruit and veg may have had a blast from a hosepipe, greengrocers hand polished their display apples, but most of it came straight from the ground… and most food was what is now expensively labelled as organic.

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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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13 Responses to Nature Versus Nurture?

  1. Léa says:

    I refuse to buy anything in plastic. It is so very toxic and the oceans are filled with it… I’m with your son, cows milk is for cows. When I require a bit of ‘milk’ I use coconut or almond milk.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Erik says:

    OK, first of all, those … highland cows? … got an instant grin from me. While you may see them all the time, I don’t believe I, here in the States, have ever seen one live. In line with your post, it’s funny what we each grow accustomed to that, to another, will seem a big deal.

    I grew up poor. During the years when the four of us were young and my mother did not work in order to care for us, my father allotted her $22 a week with which to buy food, clothes, gas, household goods, medicine—everything—for a family of six. So we often ate things that were gifted … or expired.

    I recall one time eating potatoes au gratin (it came in a box) and asking my mother, “Why does this have rice in it?” Then I noticed that the “rice” had legs. Mealworms. My mother didn’t miss a beat: “It’s fine. It’s extra protein.”

    So I did not grow up squeamish. We grew up picking and eating everything from baby carrots to rhubarb to wild blackberries and eating them without much thought as to cleanliness; and we all survived. Add to this a fair dose of travel so some of the world’s poorest regions where, quite literally,beggars cannot be choosers, and I’ve become someone who isn’t bothered much if at all by what “extras” might come in the natural packaging of food.

    Also interesting, in light of your title, is that your two sons—both raised by you—each have quite different penchants and peeves!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      No, we don’t see them all the time… but there is a spot on the moors where we do meet them…and they are joyous creatures. You can’t help but smile.

      My own childhood was not exactly comfortable…and my mother had her own ways of feeding us…some of which turned me vegetarian for a while 😉

      Yes, I too thought it curious that both my sons have theirown, opposing, strong opinions on what is eatable…and what makes them cringe…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Patty says:

    Reblogged this on Campbells World.


  4. Good story, Sue! Thank you for the entertainment. Have a good week ahead. Michael


  5. Our farm around the corner sells raw milk. All the cows are inspected, licensed, have ear tags declaring them free from everything in the world you could consider dangerous. The problem is, it also is unpasteurized which means the cream is at the top. Garry drinks the cream and leaves the white liquid for me and the dogs. I don’t even LIKE milk — any milk — and the dogs won’t drink skim milk, which is what’s left after Garry drinks the cream.

    They also sell eggs, some of which are fertile because yes, they have roosters, so deal with it. That doesn’t bother me because I don’t mind eggs as long as I cook them myself, but I’ve disliked milk since I was a very small child and I never changed my mind.

    Also available, their own brand of honey (they have hives) and in season, the best corn in the valley. I still don’t like milk.

    My issue with a lot of health food is that it doesn’t TASTE good. When it tastes good, I like it. When it doesn’t taste good, I won’t eat it. Call me crazy, but my bottom line requirement for all food is that I enjoy it.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I’m with you on that, Marilyn…I won’t eat anything because I ‘should’, I eat food I enjoy… and if that includes some unhealthy items, so be it. On the whole, I eat sparingly and fairly healthily… but I’m not skipping dessert unless I want to 😉


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