This Food Practice is an excerpt from the list of practices shared in the book Spring, Cultivate Life, an installment in the Food Practice Through The Seasons series. Each season contains a practice for each week of the season. 13 total. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Cultivation requires consciousness. In order to grow something you need to really be tuned into all of the aspects that go into building and developing it.
This is true of even the most mundane aspects of a food culture. You should be clear, though, there really isn’t anything mundane about a Food Practice. Even the most ‘mundane’ things like grocery shopping is holy and conscious work.
We can’t relegate the latest emphasis placed on knowing your farmer to the category of a fad. Yes, you hear about it more and more now, but that’s only because 50-70 years ago we started moving far away from what was something natural and commonplace. We are all paying high prices for that now.
Know Where Your Food Comes From
All geographical locations in this country are sadly not created equal on many fronts. There are places with an overabundance of food and markets and there are still places in this country that are categorized as food deserts. So it’s not necessarily easy for all of you to cultivate relationships with those that provide you with your food.
noun: food desert; plural noun: food deserts
an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food.
“many poor people live in food deserts—where they have plenty of food but none of it healthy”
My recommendation is to start where you are, work with what you have. If you live in an urban environment with very little choice as to where and what you can buy, find ways to work with what you have.
What I’m suggesting here is that you know who you buy food from. Ask personnel at the grocery store when new deliveries come in, what farms the food comes from, which farmers at the farmer’s market have the best eggs, the best bread, the best tasting produce.
The miles that your food traveled to find its way to your table matter. Who grew your food matters. What day produce gets delivered to your one grocery store for 100 miles, matters.
The Why Of The Matter
- It matters because the more you know about the what, how and why you’re eating the more empowered you will be in the choices you make around food.
- It matters because the more you seek to learn about the food you are eating the more you elevate this relationship in value and you will tend to it and cultivate with more care and love.
- It matters because you matter; because the way you nourish yourself matters. And when you seek to understand the food world around you, you tell yourself that you matter too.
This week seek out people in that work in your grocery store, farmers market, butcher shop and ask them questions.
Of course, start with introductions. We skip over this a lot when talking to people in service positions, but they handle our food. This person is much more important in your life than you might initially think. Enter as you mean to go…with respect and gratitude.
Ask about what products they think are best at their market or stall. Ask when new delivers come in, where they come in from…what is organic and what isn’t. Ask them what they think about organic and not organic. Tell them what you love to eat most and then ask what they recommend. Ask them about what they eat. Yes.
In short, make friends with the people that handle your food and that you buy your food from. Get to know them and what they do to make sure food gets into your hands.
This is how we make friends. It’s how we cultivate relationships. It’s how you will cultivate the sources of food for yourself.
A month or two down the line, after seeing your new friend weekly, taking time to stop and say high and ask about what is new that week. You’ll find that the relationship becomes more. You’ll find that you’ll be told what’s new and changing in food for your area and you’ll begin to see the supportive nourishing net that food also gives us…Community.
Don’t underestimate this powerful practice. Go out… make friends.