Whether we make New Year’s Resolutions or not, the New Year is typically a time when we think of new beginnings. It’s a time to reflect on the year before and plan for the year ahead. Much of our resolutions revolve around food, which makes sense. Food is what heals us and ails us. Food is communal. Food is culture. Food is at the center of environmental, political, social justice, and human rights issues. Food is what connects all beings. What can we do next year about food?
Here’s a list of suggestions to get you inspired for success next year, in all your endeavors.
- Support your local farmers market. Most vendors at farmers markets are small scale producers and that means they spend more time on creating or growing a quality product that they themselves would use. By supporting local vendors, you are also supporting the local economy.
- Eat more whole foods and less processed foods. If this seems impossible with a busy lifestyle, it might be time to rethink your lifestyle. Try adding a few whole foods a week and reducing one packaged item a week. I prefer to do things all at once, but that might be a bit drastic for some folks. I’m often asked what I eat and when I respond, I’m usually met with a response similar to: “Oh, (you poor thing) I guess that means you have to cook a lot.” My response to this is, “Oh, I’m so sorry, you don’t have time to cook? What else are you doing with your life that’s more important than nourishing your body?” Ok, that was a little sarcastic, but you see where I’m going.
- Buy organic or naturally grown from your local farmer when possible. Organic is great, though skip organic in a box and go for real fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, and eggs.
- Take the time to prepare more food at home with friends and family. There is nothing more important than your health. See #2.
- Educate yourself about current food issues. Learn about GMO’s, industrial agriculture, food sovereignty, real food, and food and farming trends including the Slow Food Movement, the Locavore Movement, Permaculture, and Biodynamic Farming, just to name a few.
- Join an Eat Local group…or not. It can be a fun and educational experience to be a part of group that actively seeks to eat only local food. You’d be surprised to know what does and doesn’t grow in your region.
- Familiarize yourself with the local restaurants. Find out which ones serve local, seasonal, grassfed, pastured, wild caught, or organic food. Let them know that you appreciate their efforts. It’s not easy to source good food.
- Eat local and seasonally. See #6.
- Start a garden, even if it’s just a few herbs or vegetables in containers.
- Take a foodie or gardening workshop and pick up a new skill. Learn about bees, how to make bread, how to forage, how to grow mushrooms or sprouts, learn how to ferment, how to make cheese, how to garden organically, or simply learn how to cook.
There. I’ve shared some ideas, now what are you hoping to do, achieve, or change this coming year?