Sunday, October 16, 2011

Changing the way we view food

Food. It's essential for life - like water and air. We often take it for granted in this land of abundance.

Our love of food is reflected by cooking shows springing up almost daily on TV and across the web. We celebrate chefs, creating almost a cult-like hero worship over the "best."

Our refrigerators are jammed with produce and dairy, meats and seafood. We shop at massive supermarkets that wind around like corn mazes, crammed with eye-catching displays that capture our glances with everything from exotic sauces to produce spilling over counters in leafy disarray.

Because of increasing demand, once hard-to-find veggies and fruit like kale and kiwi are commonplace in most supermarkets throughout the USA. And that's not all.

We shop and go, grabbing what we need and often, impulsively, reach for food we don't need but think we must have.

Young kids, when asked "where does your food come from?" often answer... "the store, silly!"
How sad.

There's a growing movement afoot that crosses all strata of socio-economic demographics. People want to get in touch with the food they consume on a more visceral level. Perhaps it's part economics, part desire to "connect with the earth" but in the past decade, there's a rising tide of  homegrown veggie gardens,  Community Supported Agriculture farms, and Farmers Markets sweeping the nation. Check out the fine organization, Local Harvest for sources of farms, CSA's, markets near you, and great tips.

If you want to dig a bit deeper, our 2011 GMG Trends Report: Gardening with a Purpose visits the growth in CSA's, veggie gardening, sustainable container gardens,and the rise of urban farming.

So whether you grab a pot and plant tomatoes and basil, or participate in a CSA to support your local farmer (in exchange for weekly boxes of fresh picked produce) or like me, linger over tables of honey, teas, beets and corn at farmers markets, touching, squeezing, schmoozing (in a ritual that crosses all races, cultures and creeds) we all need to re-connect with food - and on a broader level, with nature.

It's part of our DNA.

So why don't we all think about this: Donate food and/or your time to a worthy food bank in your area, support CSA's and Farmer's Markets and enjoy getting your hands in the dirt to "garden with a purpose."

 I guarantee you, you'll never look at food the same way again.

Garden Media Group 
photo credit: top: Farm to Table; basket of veggies:Clagett Farm; girl with basket: Slow Food


Clare said...

Great post, growing your own defiantly changes how you see food. For me growing my own food, even though I can only grow small amounts, has made me appreciate all the work that goes into getting food on the table.

Unknown said...

Great post on Blog Action Day. Local food sheds, like watersheds, can make a difference.

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Gardening is not only good for your soul but good for your body, too!

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