Where do I start? It has been an interesting adjustment to regular living after having done such a sustained fasting diet. We are still being very conscious of our food – quantity, quality and ethical origins. I pray it’s something that remains a conviction in my heart.
It is difficult in this society to eat with a good conscience. Especially since it’s not a medical necessity merely an ethical one. I say “merely” but it is not a little thing. To remember that what we eat affects people around the world is not a little thing. To be willing to support local farmers and growers is not a little thing. Americans are slowly becoming more aware that supporting their local farmers is a really good thing. Not just for their own health and the health of their children but for the necessity of keeping a variety of interesting and flavorful foods available.
As we become more and more processed we lose more and more flavor. The tomatoes you buy in the store are hard and tasteless because they are a variety that grows quickly to meet consumer demands. Compare that store bought tomato with one purchased off your local farm-stand. It’s incomparable. Think of it this way…in purchasing locally you gain flavor; most likely that produce was harvested that morning or the day before. Also you won’t be paying for the transportation, storage and cooling of that product which may come from 1,500 miles away. Instead the money goes straight to the grower for purchase of seeds and maintenance of equipment and you get a FAR superior product.
Chances are, if you time it right, you can even save money by buying from your local farmer’s market. Show up near closing time and you may get a great deal on the end of day goods. Not to mention the human connection you make! Our local farmers are unique and valuable. They are full of information and love to share their knowledge with someone who is truly interested. Once you build a relationship with your local farmer you may even be able to special request certain items, or have your produce set aside for you.
Most of our local farmers are pesticide free growers. You may not see the “organic” label because it is too expensive for a small farmer to purchase. Yet many of them, if not all, are extremely conscious and don’t use pesticides. All you need to do is ask!
Something else to be aware of – farmer’s markets are not all just fruits and veggies anymore! You will find local dairy farmers selling fresh cheeses, artisan cheeses and milk. There are local bakers selling amazing loaves of whole grain breads and breads of all types. Flower growers, Home growers selling preserves, and local crafters are there as well. The sheer awesomeness of it all is a beautiful thing!
Further benefit is the example you set for your children. If your kids see you taking an interest in local foods then they will, too. They will notice the differences in taste and quality as well. Look at a store bought strawberry and one you have picked fresh that morning! Kids can tell! And, you will be creating your own ripple effect in a sense. Raising your own awareness passes on to your children, and so on.
This doesn’t have to be a religious “thing” for you to acknowledge the necessity of saving our planet and our people. It is, quite simply, a HUMAN THING. In my humble opinion, it is all God at work whether you realize it or want to accept it, or not. Remember one cannot live happily or joyfully in a world without hope. I believe it is God that gives us that hope through His mercy and His grace and the sacrifice of His Son. Whether you are a follower of Christ or not, though, the sanctity of life and the health of our planet remains crucially important.
I am striving to turn this into practice. I am making a full on effort every time I enter the grocery store to buy consciously, healthfully and ethically. I am only one person and yet I AM making a difference. Won’t you join me?
Remember to serve the least of these!