For some reason today my thoughts have been circulating around food; where it comes from, how it’s cared for, what’s in it, what am I really getting?
It all started when I was flipping through the channels and found Martha Stewart hosting some of the greats behind Food Inc. including the producer Robert Kenner and Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms. This film brings into light what is really going on behind the scenes in the world of food and it’s quite eye opening. As said in the film, the food industry is striving to grow things “bigger, fatter, faster, cheaper” but it comes at a big cost to consumers; not necessarily in dollars but in our health and our environment. We, as consumers, have the power to demand a change; “when we run an item past the supermarket scanner, we’re voting for local, organic or not.” A lot of times though it’s hard for us to see what the direct benefit is, if I spend 40 cents more per pound on organic bananas vs. non organic, that banana won’t necessarily taste any better; there’s nobody at the check out saying “good for you for buying organic!”
One thing I know is that the harder you have to work for something the more rewarding the results are; doing the right thing is never easy. But every time I think about animals being treated inhumanely, pesticides on our produce and nutrient-poor food it makes me want something more.
I’ll admit it, I sometimes shop at Wal-Mart, I buy processed foods and I occasionally have fast food…nobody is perfect. The key is having the desire to eat better; Mark and I give ourselves a very limited going-out-to-eat budget, we cook a lot at home, I take a lunch to work, we like leftovers and always steal as many fresh vegetables from my dad’s garden as we can. Helping my dad in the garden this past summer was such an amazing experience, we prepared the soil, made compost, planted seeds, watered and fed the plants, experimented with ways to keep the bug population down and enjoyed the fruit of our labor, but most of all we spent some great time together outside. That’s the part of this whole local/organic/gardening/natural movement that I wish everyone could experience; being there from beginning to end and truly appreciating what it takes to nurture and grow something for yourself.
WOW…this post is all over the place. Anyways, that’s what has been on my mind today and I just felt the need to share.
Maybe I’ll build myself a little planter like this one so we can grow some herbs and small vegetables on our balcony.