(our favorite new winter vegetable – Fennel!)
I want to cheerlead for seasonal, local, and sustainable food for a moment. I mean, it’s kinda my thing. The happiness, community, seasonal rhythms and feasting that come with eating locally has enriched my life more than I ever thought possible. I’m more grateful about the lives around me and for the wonderful things that sustain and nourish me. I am more aware of the wonders of each season. Seriously, if you’re looking for something in your life that brings a wonderful richness and meaning 3 times a day (every time you eat!) then think about local food. I chose to start eating local food for so many reasons in the beginning: for the environment, for the local culture and economy, for workers rights in places like California and Florida where a lot of our produce comes from, for animal welfare practices, to avoid putting pesticides in my body. However, the most surprising outcome of my local food experience has been the emotional, social, and communal benefits I have received from my lifestyle and food.
It’s so sad to me that food can become about calculations so quickly: calorie count, portion size, points, carbs, dollars and cents. You and I put food in our bodies three times a day, and for many people it is an agonizing experience of diet, restraint, or of overwhelming choice. I firmly believe that in this day and age meals should be full of wonderment and celebration of the bounty of our local place. Before you think I’m naive and that I don’t understand real life, think for a second about all of the times you eat. I mean seriously, how many meals have you had in your life, give or take a few? As of today I am 8,991 days old, and I therefore have eaten somewhere close to 27,000 meals. Holy cow! And some of those meals contained atoms that are still in my body! How amazing is that! Your body and mine are amazing machines, and we get out of them what we put in them, three times a day. And I’ve decided that I want my meals to do more than just give me the nutrients and energy necessary to function, I want my meals to bring me joy, happiness, fullness (in more ways than one).
I understand that there are many barriers to eating local, sustainable, organic, ethical food, and I would like to discuss some of them here on the blog, at least in terms of my experience.
So if you have any barrier to choosing local food you would like for me to hit on, post it in the comments. I know of some of the barriers I experienced, but I want to see if others have similar reservations. So if local food is something you’ve ever thought not possible for you, go ahead, post a comment about it.
Wishing you healthy community and joyous eating,