Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Have you ever come to the realization that you are part of something larger than yourself? A movement, or even, dare I say, a revolution?
Food. Where it comes from, how it's grown and processed, how we prepare it, and how (or whether) it nourishes us... these have become big issues. Concepts like locavore, flexitarian, farm-to-table... were these even part of our vocabulary ten years ago? There is such a growing awareness of the perils of fast and processed food, along with the real long-term problems created by large-scale factory farming, and I feel like I have been waking up to these issues right alongside the rest of America.
For me, my learning curve over the past few years has gone something like this: Super Size Me, Fast Food Nation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, The End of Food, In Defense of Food, Nourishing Traditions, Food Matters, Food, Inc., King Corn, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. With a lot of great blogs, articles, gardening books, and cookbooks along the way.
And where it's led me is to a passionate belief that our children must know where their food comes from. This is truly essential to our survival on this planet.
One of the ways I am trying to teach this is to grow our own food, which we have done with some modest success in the past and this year are taking to the next level. We also cook together, eat as many whole foods as possible, and are trying more and more to limit the amount of processed food in our diets.
But one of the simplest ways to connect children -- and anyone! everyone! -- to the source of a food is to visit a farm. I am really excited to be forming a relationship with a farm by joining a CSA this year. But anyone can visit a farm. Find a pick-your-own farm and make a weekend outing of going to pick strawberries. Find a farm with a petting zoo or hayride. Or at the very least, chat with the farmers at your local farmer's market.
Food doesn't come from the grocery store, or through a drive-thru window. If our children can truly absorb this, if they can internalize the importance of what they're eating, and where it comes from, they might actually turn this thing around.
I can feel it in the air. You might even call it a revolution.
This post was hammered out in 30 minutes as part of Jamie's Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge, hosted over at SteadyMom. Whew!