I have had food on my mind a lot lately. As a family, we are making slow but steady change toward a much more conscious and sustainable way of life, and food plays a big part in that. Whether it be the growing of vegetables in a garden, the raising of meat in a humane way, the buying of fresh-baked bread, or even shopping at the local markets instead of the supermarkets.
We have made a lot of progress, yet we still have so much to learn. As they say, “old habits die hard“, and both Jeramy and I have our entire young lives of forming a different set of habits to change.
Some changes will come later. We cannot grow a vegetable garden where we currently live, but when we finally move out of the city we will begin that adventure. I want to learn canning, and to bake bread. I would love to make my own yogurt and cheese.
I am evolving my buying habits. This is a work in progress with factors of budget, time, and convenience weighing in. I am developing a relationship with smaller local markets, and improvising recipes on the spot based on what looks freshest. I am reading books and articles by those who are more nutritionally wise than I am, and acting on the information in the way that I believe best serves my family.
Even on those harried evenings, where the stress is high and the patience low, small changes can make all the difference. Choosing to get takeout sandwiches from a local business, with loving and detailed care given to every ingredient–from the bread baked that morning to the bacon raised nearby–instead of rushing through the nearest drive-through, or to a chain restaurant where the meaning of “fresh” is questionable, is a step in the right direction.
The learning curve is a steep one, but our values are firm. We want to eat as locally as possible. We want to eat what is truly fresh and in-season. We want to fully nourish our bodies and eat in a balanced way. We want to take the time to prepare what we love, and share it as a family. We want to support the little-guy, rather than the big-box. We want to waste less.
Food can be medicine for the body as well as the soul, and little by little we are making our goal of having the healthiest possible relationship with food a reality.