Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Where Does My Food Come From?

I read this tweet today:
@fairoaksfarms Overheard at Fair Oaks Farms today: Mother asks her child, "Do you know where milk comes from?" Child replies, "Yeah, the grocery store."
Thankfully. After asking as to the response by the mother, I received this:
@ To her credit she then began to teach the chain of command on milk. It was actually very nice to see...

How many kids out there have no idea of where their food comes from? How many of you don't know where your food comes from?

In our home we are primarily locavores. We have a 1/4 of a cow (that's 45 lbs of ground beef, not including all of our other cuts) in our deep freezer that we picked up from the processor after discussing which cuts we wanted. Next to all the beef are a winter's worth of chickens. There are frozen fruits and veggies in wire baskets above the meat. We have boxes of onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and apples in our dry storage. We also have jams, butters, and other fruits and veggies that I canned during the summer. It's cheaper to buy in season. It's cheaper to buy meat in bulk. And it's reassuring to know who it is who is growing my food, to be hands on with the process. It also just tastes better.

My son requests to go to farmer's markets. He enjoys picking out new foods to try. He knows which farmer's we get certain items from and goes up and strikes up conversation with them. He plays with his pretend kitchen "Farmer's Market" and talks about the food as he plays with it. He's 3 years old. And whenever he eats meat (no we don't eat it every meal, not even every day) we learn what part of the animal it comes from. He started it. One of his favorite books to look through is Alton Brown's "I'm Just Here For the Food". He had the opportunity to meet Mr. Brown at a booksigning and ever since he has LOVED looking through his cookbooks. He also loves Everyday Food. We also talk about fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, etc. We even have regular comversations about dairy because of his dairy allergy it is probably the most important food group we can talk about.

There are a couple of amazing kids that put together a great video "What's On Your Plate?" that I highly recommend as a movie for the whole family to enjoy. It will start the wheels turning in the brain, get them thinking. They will start thinking about what you are serving up. Appreciating what you are serving. Does it have ingredients you can't pronounce? Even worse things you don't even know what they are??? My rule of thumb in my house, we buy things that don't come in packages, if we go to the grocery store we stay in the outer perimeter, and if it's out of season we don't need it.
It's overwhelming to begin this process, but you will find the small changes eventually add up. Also more and more year round farmer's markets are popping up. Take advantage of a family outing and go meet your local farmers. Start with one meal a week where you know where all of your food comes from, then make it two. Eventually you won't even be thinking about it anymore. Talk with your kids about the food on their plate. Tell them what it is, we do this every meal, discuss where it comes from. Take them to the grocey store, it may take a little longer, but engaging them will get them excited for food. Have them help you cook, getting them involved will up your chances of getting them to eat healthier foods and interested in what they are eating. Talk about healthy food vs junk food. Go out to a farm on a family trip, many farms will welcome you out for a farm tour, just call and ask. Grow a garden, any size. Food is our fuel. It is what keeps us alive. Celebrate the animal that gave it's life for you to enjoy it over dinner and learn about it! Take time to enjoy what you are eating!

courtesy of http://www.summertomato.com/ Thank you, Darya!

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