|Myself, my firstborn, and one on the way, practicing organic gardening|
For the Love of Food!
I believe everyone develops a relationship with food in their early childhood, that’s where comfort food comes from. The foods that not only fill your belly, but make you feel better when you are sad, lonely or sick, the foods you share around the family table with your children.
I am supremely lucky to have been given a relationship with food that is passionate, healthy, and fun. Growing up in the commune, there was always enough to eat, but we lived close enough to the line of not having enough, you better damn well know we respected our food.
I laugh to think the outside world would look in at us and say we were impoverished! Yes we sat down at the table more times than I care to think about, to a plate of brown rice and beans…AGAIN! Really who could complain about being provided a perfect protein? I can tell you who, me. It took me a good long time to care for brown rice and beans, but now…yes they are my comfort food.
Those were the bad days! The good days we ate corn, freshly picked only hours before, cooked under the evening sun in an outdoor kitchen. The children snacking on fresh sun warmed tomatoes bigger than our heads while we waited for our supper. There was fresh baked bread and homemade jam, and sometimes the rare treat of meat of some sort, venison or even a bear once (that is another story, the killing of the bear was somewhat controversial in our small branch of the community) hunting was done very seldom and everyone appreciated a creature had lost its life so we could be nourished.
We raised chickens (and learned not to get attached) and literally lived off of the land, we wasted nothing, planting and harvesting the gardens and even going into the woods to harvest nuts and berries! We would harvest Serviceberries by spreading a sheet on the ground and shaking the branches. Gallons of them would be used to make jam. Harvesting the hazelnuts was not quite as easy, with their prickly husks, our little fingers would get tired and sore. We would sit by the fire at night and husk them and listen to a story either read to us or told by one of our elders.
What I gleaned out of this wholesome relationship to food is how interconnected it is to everything that is important, health, community, family, economics, and environment. It cannot b e extracted from any of these things. It is a basic need for living beings and has become polluted and perverse in that greater society has failed to see its inextricable connectedness to all we need to survive. If we all recognized our need to nourish and be nourished in holistic way I believe we would have much healthier happier society.
Eat well, waste nothing, live healthy.