I have written before of our family’s need to take responsibility for our food and about my need to get back to my roots with our search for a homestead. My husband, a born and bred suburbanite, was once opposed to living on a farm. It seemed like too much work (it is a lot of work), it seemed foreign to him (it’s a good day to learn something new), and he didn’t really understand my growing need. That was then. Now he goes with us to farmer’s markets when he is home from work. He understands that you can’t reuse canning lids for canning. He calmly discusses our plans to raise chickens and a large garden, with a possibility of other animals if we end up with enough land.
Our country, as a whole, has become disconnected with the food we eat. Certainly we eat it. We went from being the tallest country back in the mid-1800s to being the heaviest country today. There is food everywhere we go – fast food restaurants, vending machines, and convenience foods abound, all so that you can eat without thinking about it.
If we truly want to live our lives mindfully though, we have to think about it. We have to think about where our food comes from and what implications our eating it has – environmentally, economically, morally, and in respect to our health. Many of us will make different choices depending on our circumstances and life experiences, but we know that people can make a difference when they think about their food.
During World War II, a government emphasis on Victory Gardens inspired many citizens to plant their own vegetable gardens. During that time, 1/3 of all vegetables eaten in the US were from home gardens. Fresh, frugal, and as local as you can get, home grown goods are a new (old) wave of the green movement. Perhaps you can’t raise your own chickens or cows, but even the smallest apartment has room for a potted plant. We can all visit with local farmers at farmer’s markets and get to know the people growing our food. We can buy food from sources that don’t go against our beliefs. We can all become reconnected with what we put in our bodies every day.