1/2/11: FOOD ORIGINS
Develop a more intimate relationship with your food
Regardless of what you eat, if you dig a little into its past, its sources, its origin, its ingredients, you will most likely begin to eat more healthfully. If you tend to eat junk food, a little attention to where, how and with what it is made, will likely start to spoil your appetite (my daughters and I tried a junk food day in order to confirm what we don’t want to be eating); likewise when you build a closer relationship with a food producer and/or vender, you appreciate the time, effort, energy involved in growing, producing and preparing it for you, which will translate into a more nourishing eating experience.
Through farmers markets, Dave’s summer and Pete’s winter CSA (community supported agriculture) farm share, a milk share from Lindsay, a fabulous new online farmstand and our own production, we are often able to name the person and/or animal who produced every ingredient on our table. This close connection to our food, helps build healthy kids, as well as a healthy environment and a stronger local economy. After several years of growing a good portion of our own vegetables and herbs, and gradually more apples and berries, this year we welcomed seven laying hens, and now also have a year-round source of protein (as well as very friendly companions).
I realize not everyone is surrounded by as many “eat local” options, but availability is growing and through websites such as Local Harvest you can locate nearby farmer markets. The Eat Well Guide can help you locate products, restaurants and markets offering local foods, both near your home and while you travel.
Make 2011 the year you start to break off that long distance relationship with food stuffs grown, produced, manufactured, packaged, stored and warehoused in far flung corners of the globe, and commit to a healthy relationship with the whole foods grown near you. The nourishment available from these foods extends far beyond a dry list of vitamins and minerals.