Monday, July 26, 2021
Everyone should try to grow food - fresh fruit or vegetables to stay top of mind about what it takes to raise our food. Growing food helps us learn or remind ourselves of how challenging it can be and the work it takes so we don't take food for granted. It helps us appreciate the value of all food we are so fortunate to have access to and the work and sacrifice of many who help to bring it to us.
In our society, many of us are so unaware and detached from what it takes for food to get to our table. We see the grocery worker or the delivery person and focus on them because we see them. We are focused on convenience and price and likely do not realize the tradeoffs that are made to deliver those attributes to us. Often when we remain unaware, we blame others for not telling us as if they could make us care and listen. We blame others for not magically creating the impossible and for not getting through to us when we don't want to take the time to know the details. As if it's not important enough to us to know what we put in our own body because we say we don't have the time. Yet, we know the further away we are from knowing someone or something, the less basis we have for trust. We are blind to what is happening behind the scenes.
Growing food is a laborious process. Yes, it's hard. It reminds us of life's fragility. It reminds us that what is happy and healthy grows expansively and brings joy.
Even if it's not your hobby, try growing a plant or garden to experience the process as you might try other new things for a period of time during the summertime. Make a commitment to learning the process. You will have to spend your time, attention, with a supportive growth environment - soil, water, and nutrients. All life needs love and care to survive and thrive.
Growing a plant or garden is analogous to how we grow as we go through life. We devote time, may not succeed but we will learn and that is the goal. We devote time to what we love and, also what is important to us. Those who at least try will value food more - its taste, texture - the wonder of growing life. Yes, food is life itself.
Gardening is a favorite pastime for so many because it's nurturing. It has many benefits that you only experience by practicing it. It has a calming effect on our nervous system raising our oxytocin. Especially in this world of a pandemic, it helps us feel less isolated and provides a new daily sense of purpose.
I hope you will savor the experience and have a reminder of the effort involved leading you to a greater appreciation and understanding of food in a new way - with new respect and admiration for life that we often only think about as serving us. Food is life as we are living. We need to remember to say our thanks for that life and all of those who make food available to us. We embody life every day by consuming food. Do what you can to embrace its journey and not take it for granted.
- First trained as a food chemist and nutritionist, my career began enriching a Twinkie, comparing the nutrition of a Twinkie to an apple and studying the role of sugar in the diet. With an M.B.A. and years in food and pharma understanding consumers and manufacturers, I'm back to where I started - food should taste great and serve to keep us healthy. To do so, there needs to be consumer awareness. Consumers need to vote for what they want by buying what they really want. If they buy impulsively, that's what they will see more of. They need to practice balance and responsible choices. That's when change will come. Please engage me with your conversation so that I can help you make and stick to better food choices that you enjoy. You'll gain a deeper appreciation of food not only from farm to table but farm to health. My vision is to promote solutions for healthful food and food practices you can happily embody and embrace!