I’m not big on receiving presents. There is one type that I do like, however. My favorite gift to give and receive is food.
Warning: brutal honesty coming.
Receiving gifts can sometimes be a struggle. First, I’m not interested in many physical things. Second, I’m quite particular about the physical items I do keep. Frankly, there is little chance that the well-intentioned giver will execute on their desire to please me, leaving me in a position to bullshit and them in a position to receive said BS.
I suspect that I’m not alone. As we head towards the prime gift giving season, how many times are you obligated to accept gifts of things that you won’t use? There is a solution to this seemingly universal problem. Give whole foods as gifts. I don’t mean prepared foods like pie, which seem exceptionally personal (unless you know the person’s tastes intimately). I mean staples; the things that most stock in their refrigerators or pantries on a regular basis.
My neighbor has chickens that produce the most sensational eggs. She calls me occasionally and surprises me with a voicemail.
“Gabe, I left you a carton of eggs in my wagon in front of my house.”
What is the market value of this dozen? Probably only a few bucks. Still, I can’t wipe the smile off my face when I get that call.
She provided me with mornings of blissful runny yolks. This was a gift of health, particularly as an athlete in need of high quality protein. From whfoods.com:
Eggs have long been recognized as a source of high-quality protein. The World Health Organization (WHO) and other public health authorities actually use eggs as their reference standard for evaluating the protein quality in all other foods. Egg protein is usually referred to as “HBV” protein, meaning protein with High Biological Value. Since eggs are used as the reference standard for food protein, they score 100% on the HBV chart. The high quality of egg protein is based on the mixture of amino acids it contains. (Amino acids are the building blocks for making proteins.) Eggs provide a complete range of amino acids, including branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine), sulfur-containing amino acids (methionine, cysteine), lysine, tryptophan, and all other essential amino acids. Their protein is sometimes referred to as a “complete protein” for this reason.
I have a friend, Angelina, who brought me a bowl of fruit from her backyard trees on Monday. Tiny, crisp apples, perfectly ripe persimmons and fragrant lemons and limes blessed my soul all week. They decorate my kitchen table with a pop of color, and I think of her kindness and generosity every time I take a bite.
Angelina gave me the gift of flavor, vitamins and minerals. Persimmons, in particular, are high in vitamin A. From livestrong.com:
Vitamin A promotes good vision, according to MedlinePlus. Vitamin A is especially important for seeing in the dark or in poorly lit areas. Without vitamin A, you wouldn’t be able to establish a wide array of colors because it helps your eyes distinguish colors such as bright orange or dark purple.
I have stunning tomatoes growing in my garden and ½ of a cow in my freezer out back. My mom and dad are on their way over to the house to celebrate mom’s birthday. I plan on a gift of grass-fed bone-in ribeye steaks and a few just-picked tomatoes.
My folks will enjoy the benefits of grass-fed beef, like higher levels of Omega-3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. From chriskresser.com:
The two fatty acids you’re probably most familiar with are our old friends omega-3 and omega-6, both of which are PUFAs. This might come as a surprise, but the most current research indicates that beef contains consistent levels of omega-6 regardless of diet. (2) This is good news if you can’t afford grass-fed beef, because at least grain-fed beef won’t slam you with more omega-6 than you can compensate for. What you’ll be missing out on are the significantly higher levels of omega-3s found in grass-fed beef. (3) Depending on the breed of cow, grass-fed beef contains between 2 and 5 times more omega-3s than grain-fed beef, and the average ratio of n-6:n-3 in grass fed beef is 1.53:1. In grain fed beef, this ratio jumps all the way up to 7.65:1.
I started by telling you that I had to bullshit when I receive a gift that I’ll end up chucking. Is it silly to give gifts based on my preferences instead of guessing at the recipient’s? Probably. I figure I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. If I give a dude a tie, he may not dig it anyhow. Logically then, I lean on health. I’ve never met a human who doesn’t want to feel well.
That’s my deductive reasoning and I’m sticking to it,