There are lots of “food philosophies” out there these days, which is kinda neat, and also kind of overwhelming.
Frankly, most of them are just too darn complicated for me.
I’m lazy. And busy. I’m also not willing to give up sugar, or grains, or meat, or dairy, or olive oil, or coffee, or chocolate, or everything that wasn’t eaten by my paleolithic ancestors. (I can barely spell paleolithic, never mind keep up with what they ate.) Don’t even get me started on nutritionism.
I know, I know – many of these diets are great, good for your health and the planet and all that jazz. We do limit our refined sugar and enjoy Meatless Monday, but I could never do any of these diets hard core. (My failed attempt at vegetarianism not withstanding.) If they float your boat, more power to ya. Really.
I just think deciding what to eat for dinner shouldn’t be so darn complicated. Food should be about nourishment and joy, in equal portions – not rules and regulations.
What can I say. How’s that song go?
Don’t fence me in . . . .
But I worry. (I’m a worrier.) I worry about food security and biodiversity and the privatization of the very seeds of life, about Monsanto in general, peak everything and the health and future of my little boy. I care about what I put in my body and on my soil.
I mean, phewph. I get exhausted just thinking about worrying about it all, never mind actually DOING something about it.
So what’s a girl who cares about what she eats to do?
Keep it simple. Eat real food. Cook from scratch. Grow your own.
I bake my own bread, make jam, have a backyard full of chickens, a front yard chock-a-block with organic veggies and a larder stocked with whole foods. I’m a manic urban-homesteader.
I’m also not above take-out pizza after a long day.
I’m a busy Mama with a new boy, a husband, a household, a part-time job, a freelance writing career and the three-ring-circus better know as our urban farm to take care of. I’m realistic that I can’t do it all, all the time.
We eat from the garden as much as we can, as often as we can. We avoid eating crap and processed foods, and if we can make it rather than buy it, all the better for both our bellies and our budget.
Finding sanity in our food systems doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. We can find a balance between the ideals of Slow Food and the realities of our busy lives.
Let’s ditch the pressure and the labels and start enjoying our food again.
There is one thing I have learned for certain from my adventures in urban farming and homesteading –
Simply by growing our own food, tending the garden, sharing recipes, baking bread, talking with neighbours, cooking from scratch, saving seeds, sitting down at the table and turning off the TV, just living a full, simple life that is inherently joyful – we are making change. We are thumbing our nose to the corporations who would convince us we are merely consumers and powerless in this game.
We are mothers and home cooks and backyard chicken keepers and organic gardeners and fathers and we are more powerful than we will ever imagine. In our warm homes, around our kitchen tables and in the cool shade of our bountiful gardens lie the answers we need to change the world.