I recently watched a TEDxSeattle talk by Vicki Robin on Relational Eating and I am inspired and impacted by her words. She speaks to the need, in America, to restore regional food and farming to our lives and to the challenge to remake our industrial food system by shifting our eating from industrial to local.
“Food is no longer ‘out there’, rather it is something we must bring back into our lives at close range” she contends. Farmer’s markets, local food sources and regional offerings must be supported by our interest, encouragement, and purchasing habits. We must, as Vicki says, “eat here, now”. And I would add: we must be the change we need to see in our world of nourishment and sustainable eating.
If you care to, check out this talk (video below or you can find it on YouTube here) and the “ten mile diet” that the author designed and experienced. Yes, she lost some weight but more than becoming slender, she became more connected and felt more alive than she ever could have imagined. As she chose only local and available foods (with minimal exception), she formed new relationships with the farmers and food producers in her area. She experienced herself as a living creature in a living world. She “felt” her food and found a sense of belonging. Her life was changed forever.
Everyone eats, everyone has a role. Who are you in the food system? Where do you shop and how might you change your habits to contribute to a more sustainable and healthful food system in our country? What are you waiting for? What can you do, now, to take the first step toward cultivating relational eating where you live?
I have committed to using every inch of soil surrounding me to grow simple and, hopefully successful, edible plants for the coming season. I plan to attend our local farmer’s market each day it is open and purchase food for the week. Also, I commit to being more aware of where other purchased food comes from, who grows it and how it is grown. If “I am what I eat”, important learning and imperative habit changing lies ahead.
What about you? Would you be willing to take a look at where you purchase your food and what options are available to you for growing some things on your own? Even if it is simply sprouts on the window sill, it’s a start. All change starts with awareness – and then that first step. Shall we begin?