Have you ever gone to a restaurant and watched people eat? Really watched? Most people are so unconscious of the way they are filling their bodies (by way of their meals) they are what we can classify as unconscious eaters.
It’s the same with where our food comes from. Ask most people where food comes from and they don’t really know. They are unconscious shoppers.
We have become incredibly disconnected from our food. Many children and a lot of adults don’t know where food actually comes from. They’ve never taken time to learn this. They assume the food is just going to show up.
With recent storms in the Florida area, many crops that make their way to the West coast have been halted. Grocery stores, and subsequently consumers, are feeling the domino effect of Mother Nature.
You can see the look of shock on their face when their favorite pink grapefruit is not in stock.
Ask your Grocer
Have you ever asked your grocer where their food supply comes from? For fun, try this. Chances are, many of the people working in a chain grocery store don’t know.
You will be well served to educate yourself on where your food source comes from. You will also be very well served to shop local, co-op, farm-fresh stores.
To get to our major food source we drive to a clean grocery store where the smell of freshly baked food is in the air. We choose our foods from a shelf or a refrigerated cooler as we listen to soothing music. Then we return home and shelve our groceries.
Teach Your Children
The average child might not know that a French fry is made from a potato grown underground in the dirt, or that an egg comes from the other end of a chicken. I know a child who stopped eating eggs for a long time when she discovered this shocking fact.
We can’t all grow potatoes or raise chickens, yet we can reconnect with food in wonderful ways. With the rise of preventable childhood diseases, like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, beyond anything we’ve ever experienced, we owe it to our future generations to educate them as much as possible about their food choices.
When you teach young people about whole foods, they tend to have a desire to eat healthier. One way to educate them, is to buy whole foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, meats, fish, and herbs. You, and your children and grandchildren don’t have to scan a label; you can see right away that a tomato is a tomato. Reconnecting with food means preparing at least some of your meals from whole foods.
Another way to reconnect with food is to visit your local farmers’ market. You will find fresh vegetables and fruits that may have been picked only hours ago; carrots with some dirt still clinging to them; fresh-laid, free-range chicken eggs; and living herbs and plants. Take your kids or grand kids for a fun time. It’s the easiest way to eat locally and seasonally. Ask the growers questions and learn about their produce from them.
Rainbows are Beautiful
You might find a rainbow of different colored beets, carrots, and chard ready to go home in your bag, or things you’ve never heard of eating such as zucchini blossoms. They are delicious and can be prepared in several ways.
I count on my local farmers’ market for shopping in season and buying foods in bulk for canning and preserving for the winter. I buy locally grown organic tomatoes by the case to make salsa and sauces. I also buy twenty-pound bags of baby cucumbers and heads of fresh green dill weed and garlic to make the best kosher dill pickles ever. We eat these year-round, and I use them to make my famous (to family and friends anyway) Dill Pickle Potato Salad. I buy extra jars of freshly harvested local honey to store and to give as gifts.
Make it a Family Tradition
Fall harvest time is a family get-together time at my house. It is a tradition of preserving healthy food that has been passed from my grandmothers and mother to me, and I am passing the healthy knowledge and tradition forward to my family, friends, those in my classes, and now you!
Imagine how great it will feel when a young person attributes their knowledge of healthy eating to you. I can tell you, from personal experience, it feels pretty doggone good.