I'm not much of a sports fan. On Sunday, while everyone else in Michigan was watching Michigan State win something....basketball??....I was watching Oprah's Soul Sunday. She interviewed Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma. His most recent book is Food Rules.
He has written several books about food and our connection ( or lack of connection) with the food we eat.
He made some interesting points. We are only a generation removed from the days when almost everyone grew their food or knew the person who did.
This is mostly true of my childhood. We had a large garden and Mom canned and froze a stockpile of food. If we didn't grow it, we knew the farmer who did. Heck, we often picked it ourselves. I remember picking blueberries, cherries, apples, peaches, and even asparagus at local farms. I grew up, and still live, in an area of many fruit orchards and farms. My hometown claims to be the Asparagus Capital! We have an asparagus festival and a Mrs. Asparagus is crowned.
The summer job I had all through high school was picking cherries. We climbed ladders with buckets strapped around us and picked them by hand. I remember the smell of ripe cherries, the weight of the heavy bucket on my shoulders, and the cherry juice dripping off my elbows. I remember seeing cherries when I closed my eyes at night. It was a hard way to earn $$ for school clothes. It definitely made me see the value of an education.
Anyway, the point is that I was very connected to the food I ate. The cherry pie tastes even sweeter when you worked to pick the cherries yourself.
Our society has changed so much. Farming has become an industry and the family farms are becoming few and far between. My grandchildrens' meals all come from a supermarket, processed and wrapped in plastic, or from a fast food restaurant. And don't get me started on school lunches!
Another point he made was that we now have a separate menu for children. When did childrens' food become chicken nuggets, french fries, burgers, and pizza?
I see his point. I don't remember eating any of those foods as a child. Children ate what the family ate. The only french fries I remember were made by Mom. She didn't get them out of a bag. She cut up real potatoes and fried them. Potatoes that I helped dig out of our garden most likely.
We are seeing a movement back to fresh foods, farm to table. He believes there is much to be gained by connecting to our food and being grateful for our food.
If we sit down and share a meal together it is a form of Communion that should be done mindfully.
And his advice on what we should eat....
"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." ( He means real food of course).
Do you know where your food has been? Who grew it? How your meat was raised?
Definitely something to think about.
'Til next time..