Here are my top 5 great ways to bring back real food – for good. Do you really know whats in your food? Do you know where it came from? Who grew it? What pesticides and fertilizers were used (if any)? We have become so detached from our food source that it is estimated that the average meal takes 1500 miles to get to us! Lets pledge to make a change this spring as we do our best to plant what we can or buy as much local produce as we can and get back to real food:
- Plant your own garden (preferably with heirloom varieties) – even if its small! Grow herbs in pots around your patio if your garden isn’t big enough, grow tomatoes on your balcony, rent a plot of land in your local community, do whatever you can with the tools you have, even a small change is a change. I just placed my first order of Heirloom seeds for planting this year and I am so incredibly excited! I placed my order with Heritage Harvest Seeds (Canadian company) and bought kale, spinach, lettuce, rhubarb, cucumber, peas, parsnips, tomatoes, carrots, and onions (I could have gone crazy there were so many fabulous varieties).
- Visit your local Farmers Market. Here in London, Ontario we have an indoor farmers market during the winter months and an out door one in the summer – Covent Garden Market. These products should be local or within a very short distance of where you live. Talk to the person selling the produce, ask questions on how it is grown, fertilized and when it was picked.
- Buy into a CSA (Community Support Agriculture) box each week, or whenever you can. These boxes not only support the local growers but also allows you to eat locally and seasonally (thats right! no strawberries in February). I purchase one from On The Move Organics and go for the local box most of the time. For me, the key here is to use whats in the box! Whatever you get delivered find new and exciting ways to use the produce, get something you’ve never heard of or used before? google recipes for it and expand your repertoire. If you really don’t like an item, donate it to a neighbour or to a local food bank.
- Get to know your local farmers! I can’t stress this enough! Get to know your neighbourhood, go on farm tours, talk to the farmers about their practices, see how the animals actually live, take your children along so they can know where there food comes from. Use it as an educational tool not just for yourself but your whole family. I know I feel better knowing where my food actually came from, and no, that doesn’t mean the supermarket!
- When you are at the supermarket, wherever possible buy local, preferably organic, but definitely NON-GMO food. Your money says a lot! Use it to make your voice heard, use it to purchase food that feeds your body and your mind, use it as a way to boost the local economy and support local growers (if your not able to get to a farmers market or CSA its still a good choice). The way you spend your money is incredibly powerful and if you think that you don’t make a difference you could not be further from the truth! You are very important and your money is too, spend it wisely and let it speak for your food choices.
Are you planting a garden this year? I would love to know what your planning on growing, please leave me a message below – happy gardening (in what ever form that takes).