Posts Tagged ‘sustainable agriculture’

“Fresh” Ideas about Food

April 19, 2010

This weekend, we planted a garden.  Few things make me happier than watching my kids digging in the dirt, planting things.  Maybe it’s because I come from a long line of farmers, or maybe it’s the sun-warmed, homegrown tomato I can almost taste just by thinking about it.

One of the most interesting books I’ve read recently is Michael Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which follows four meals from field to table (from McDonald’s to foraging for mushrooms and hunting a wild boar.)  It reminds the reader how disconnected we have become from the sources of our food.  One of my favorite parts of the book talks about Joel Saletin, who is a seminal figure in the sustainable agriculture movement and probably the most famous farmer in America.  His bio on the FRESH movie website says: 

“Joel calls himself a grass-farmer, for it is the grass that transforms the sun into energy that his animals can then feed on. By closely observing nature, Joel created a rotational grazing system that not only allows the land to heal but also allows the animals to behave the way the were meant to – as in expressing their “chicken-ness” or “pig-ness”, as Joel would say.”

Joel Saletin

Ana Joanes

 

This week, Joel is in town with Ana Joanes, who has made a documentary called “FRESH” that celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system.  This afternoon, I was lucky enough to meet both Ana and Joel while volunteering at one of Joel’s lectures and was impressed with their optimism and sense of humor.  Ana recently told planetgreen.discovery.com “I just had a little girl. Her name is Maayan. And, as clichéd as it may sound, I just want to do right by her. I don’t know what reality she’ll face when she reaches adulthood, but I’m trying my best so she doesn’t have to pick up the pieces of our recklessness and inaction.”

 I’m looking forward to seeing FRESH this week in Minneapolis, where it will be shown Tues., Wed. and Thursday nights, with Ana in attendance for a Q and A following the screening.  I hear the movie is just 70 minutes long, but you will want to talk about it for two hours afterwards!  So,  if you’re in the Twin Cities, grab your girlfriends or your book club and go see it!  You can order tickets here

Supporting local, sustainable agriculture is a grass-roots movement toward healthier food and a better environment for our kids.  Who better to get it going than moms like us,who want to see a better future for our kids?  After all, we do most of the grocery shopping, so we have the power!  Get inspired to buy local and organic when you can and, by all means, plant a garden with your kids!

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Creating Health: Simple, Good and Local

February 27, 2010

 

                                Jon Radle shares his culinary secrets with Trish of OffCamerawithTrish.com

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to attend Simple, Good, and Tasty‘s February local food event at Grand Cafe in Minneapolis with my friend Jennifer of Unplannedcooking.com. As we feasted on cassoulet prepared with locally raised duck from Au Bon Canard and house made sausage by Grand Cafe’s chef Jon Radle, I talked with one of my tablemates about the rooftop and community gardens she’s working hard to create.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  

As a mother, it is important to me to be aware of not only what my children are eating, but where our food comes from.  I try to buy food raised by people who take good care of the land and treat animals humanely.  If possible, I buy food that hasn’t had to travel from too far away, since transporting foods burns lots of fossil fuel, which pollutes the air we all breathe.  I also love supporting local farmers.  My friend Megan from Sprout.mn has started a green/organic/local online directory for the Twin Cities that is an amazing resource- go to http://sprout.mn to check it out! 

Last week, I also attended an event for bloggers at the Cub Foods store in Apple Valley, MN last week.  Most of the questions I asked had to do with where their food came from, how much of it was organic and how they handled their ground beef selection (see my Kitchen Pantry Scientist post to read more about ground beef fillers.)  I was happy to hear that they have a large organic food section and buy produce locally when they can.  They also gave me a delicious dark chocolate almond bar made by Cub Food’s own organic label, Wild Harvest.  

As women and mothers, we are the biggest consumers in the grocery store industry, among others, and this gives us the power to demand that healthy, local food is readily available.  The more local, healthy, organic food we buy, the cheaper it will become and the more farmers will grow it, which will be good for the environment, which will be good for our children…

We have the power.  Let’s use it to make the world a healthier place for everyone!