Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good Food that Feels Good

Organic veggie season has begun.

I got the first delivery today from my CSA Farm. It wasn't a huge delivery - just some lettuce, broccoli, red potatoes, green onions and carrots. But from past experience, I know it will get a lot better in the coming weeks - enough that a medium share is usually overwhelming for me, so I'm splitting it with a neighbor this year.

I roasted the red potatoes for dinner after my childbirth class. They were Yum.

Tomorrow I'm doing the other thing I've been vowing to do since reading The Omnivore's Dilemma and watching Food Inc., Fresh, and Farm to Fridge - I'm making the switch to a regular source for local grass-fed organic meat. It will cost a little more, but we will also appreciate it more, use it more carefully, and waste it less than the meat we were buying at the grocery store.

I'll make sure of it, just as I do with the organic milk and eggs I've been buying for years. "Don't pour more milk than you're going to drink! That's ORGANIC milk!" "Don't you DARE feed those eggs to the dog! Those are ORGANIC eggs! Do you know how much those cost???"

I think they're beginning to get it. If someone went to all the trouble to produce that food without chemicals or hormones, and I put out the extra $$ to spend on it, I want it going into my family, not down the drain or into the pets. (The pets get the good all-natural pet food, which also costs more!)

I served up some pork-fried-rice last night and made a Big Deal out of the fact that it was made from Real pork that was raised on a farm, not mass-produced in a feed lot, and we should appreciate and enjoy it - and they did.

Maybe I'm on to something.

Somehow, knowing that their dinner was living life as an animal should - grazing on grass or eating bugs or wallowing in mud on a real farm we could actually go visit - makes us appreciate the life of that animal, and the fact that it gave its life for our nourishment - much more than some assembly-line processed meat that came from who-knows-where before it wound up wrapped in plastic at the grocery store.

The least we can do is eat it and be thankful for it instead of wasting it.

We don't buy a lot of meat to begin with, but when we buy it, I want it to be good quality and I don't want to see it wasted. For me, that's worth the extra money.

The other thing, which I keep emphasizing with my family, my friends, my childbirth classes - actually, with anyone who will listen - is that to create REAL change in society, we can't just vote in the political elections. Our REAL vote, the vote that matters, is the one we make with our dollars, day in and day out. When we spend an extra $.50 on organic kale, or an extra $1.50/lb on grass-fed organic meat, we are voting. We are telling the grocery stores, the local markets - we are telling our friends and family that this is important to us and we want to see more of it. Healthier food grown and raised under healthier conditions. Meat raised and slaughtered humanely. We're saying that it matters to us and we're willing to pay more to have it.

It's the free market system in action, and it's already making a difference. Consumer pressure for local and organic meat and produce has made an impact on our local stores and farmers' markets. Books and films like I mentioned are making people stop and think and talk about where their food comes from.

There are so many things going on in the world right now that I could worry about - and I can't do a thing about any of them.

But how I feed myself and my family is under my control. And supporting local farms who do things naturally benefits more than just my family. The more we support these businesses and encourage others to do the same, the more we are able to shape our own communities.

I say it all the time to my childbirth and La Leche League parents - we create the culture we live in.

Be the change you want to see.

No comments: