Today we are living through an exhilarating time in the history of food. Despite news of food shortages or food security, folks all over the world are taking their food back into their hands.
Despite that, 1 in 3 Americans is obese and most of the food found in our super markets, that is not organic, is genetically modified – there is a food revolution happening in the mist of all of this.
As we know, we began as hunters and gatherers, eating and cooking solely what we could hunt and harvest, while saving seeds from our most prolific crops. Through time, technology, and the advancements of the industrial revolution things changed dramatically and quickly. We began canning, preserving and freezing our harvests while still growing our own food and sharing our bounties with our neighbors and loved ones. In the mid 1900’s, petroleum entered the food system, through petro-chemical fertilizers and the transportation of food and seeds. Today, most food travels 1500 miles to arrive at your market shelf. Despite being off-season and prematurely harvested, causing whatever fruit or vegetable to lose a significant percentage of its nutrition, these fruits and vegetables are responding to the demand of our public.
Today, most Americans take very little regard in what they eat, how it is processed, what is in it and most of all, how much of it they eat. The irony is how much of our eating habits has changed in a mere 100 years – from our food supply, quality and quantity of food and nutritional content, to the amount of imported goods we consume. Perhaps a simple way of addressing this is we, went from viewing food as a sacred commodity to a simplified convenience.
While most of America has accepted that we moved from an agricultural society to industrialized agriculture, to appease their cravings, there is a huge subculture that has sprouted up globally that is changing the way we eat. This movement touts local, seasonal and organic – converting backyards into food forests, front lawns making way for urban gardens and neighbors are taking down fences to create larger shared growing spaces. Maps are being created in urban settings for gleaners to be able to take advantage of the bounty of free food on public land. We are finding ourselves relying on our community as well as our neighbors. In essence we are adopting the ways of our ancestors.
This is a movement that has taken root in all of America’s largest cities, while infiltrating small towns and growing communities. It is taking shape in the form of expanding farmers markets, community gardens, edible school yards, homesteading and a cross sector resurgence in farming.
The beauty is that this food consciousness isn’t rising among rural farmers but rather it is being seen all across the board from urban hipsters all the way through minority groups, conservatives and religious folks as well. This is a movement that welcomes and encourages everyone to get involved and most of all to share in their harvest! Swapping recipes, seeds and gardening tips are no longer a thing of the past, but rather becoming a very common activity among family and friends, an initiation in taking back our independence by growing our own food supply is happening all over and it’s catching on! This change, among all these other alternative ways of living have stemmed out of our need as a society to not only find ways in sourcing our energy and water, but our food as well. With the current state of affairs, our convenience as Americans is not guaranteed, begin thinking of how much you rely on the outside world for your basic needs. Imagine the empowerment you would feel if you controlled the very essence of life – your seeds and food!
Don’t have a yard? Fret not, food in pots grows incredible varieties of fruits and vegetable – you are only limited to your imagination – check out our blog real soon for articles on container gardening. Don’t have time to grow your own? Support your local farmers market or your local Community Supported Agriculture also known as a CSA – where you can have a box of beautiful organic fruits and veggies grown in a local farm delivered to your door weekly! These can be found throughout the country, check out Local Harvest for a location near you.
So what are the advantages to eating local and seasonal? With local food there are much lower energy costs and the nutritional value of your food is much higher, since the crop was not harvested early. Most of all, you are supporting your local farmers, your community and an incredible movement that is taking shape and changing the way we live!
There is the classic adage that you are what you eat. The reality is that our habits around food have lost their value and now more than ever is a critical time to begin asking the right questions, being aware of what you are consuming and most of all, know where your food comes from.
For more information on The Living Seed Company, check out our website.