In a earlier post, I spoke about that which overwhelms me with the news of the world. I had to chop that original post in half because when I added the too much information of the world of food, it was a monstrous post. The world and it’s food habits and food supplies and food modification is slowly seeping into my concern zone. There’s enlightenment, fanaticism, and pragmatism all thrown into the mix. Here are some highlights.  

Before her post on Uncertified palm oil’s destruction of orangutans’ habitats, Destination Here and Now blogger Marg Hogan wrote a post entitled The Greengrocer’s Granddaughter about our food-life and consumption.  And she summed up the place many of us want to be when she said, Buy Less, Live More. We need a reconnection to the circle of life, to be in awe and reverence of the world and those that grow and produce our nourishment gifted to us as opposed to being frightened of and disconnected from all of it. To cook and eat our meals together and have relationships with the people who work to feed us, that is the way life used to be. Back when it wasn’t about how cheaply in bulk you could buy stuff. Or trucking the perfect fruit thousands of miles to our stores. Sounds fabulous and then…

eggs for pasta dough from overwhelmed on

My friend and fellow blogger Jane who pens the blog That Curious Love of Green, just posted an article entitled, This is War (a food post). You’ve got farmers who are growing food harmful to the population. I have stayed right in ignorance about the genetically modified food stuff because I know it will make my head explode. Apparently no wheat is good for us now that they’ve hybridized it. And why do local food stores ship stuff sprayed with who knows what chemicals when there are farmers in the county who have perfectly good product? Because we’re vain people.  I love that Jane proclaims that she’d rather abstain on behalf of her family than buy farmed salmon. Because the bottom line is, we have a choice. We have a choice every day.

Insalata Caprese from Overwhelmed on

Which then takes me back to the wonderful book that Barbara Kinsolver wrote called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and the simple fact that we are spoiled children who want what we want when we want it. We want produce that’s pretty and out of season. We can not abstain from out of season fruit. Strawberries in December, heck yeah! We live in America. The land of “I want it now”. She points out, how can we ask our teenage children to abstain from sex if we can’t abstain from out of season strawberries. She says a lot more super cool stuff and I highly recommend this book.

Salad makings from Overwhelmed on

Lastly, here in America, we’re raising little snackers. Fear feeding isn’t a good thing. Our children are out of touch with the earth and it’s rhythms. They have no idea what their bodies need and live in fear of unknown foods. I raised this kid and in my two-part post Trouble At The Table, I read and reviewed French Kids Eat Everything, a magnificently helpful book by author Karen Le Billon which changed my understanding of food culture. From cultivating an appreciation for appetite to France’s impressive government that encourages buying local, I learned a lot from this book on how to better parent in the kitchen.

We are currently eating under the ‘No White Flour, No White Sugar’ rules during the week. Weekends bring a slight splurge and wine. It feels really good to be a little more careful with my body and we’ve lost two pounds each, one for each week. The trick is to keep tweaking our choices and not overdoing our perfectionistic dietary expectations. The drastic either/ors we throw in that make no sense like either live vegan or do fast food,  either live Paleo or eat pizza all the time.

Yes, it takes an effort to make choices, do food prep, and buy locally. So what. It’s fun, feels good, and you get to be proud of yourself and you support farmers and are a positive influence on your family’s diet. There’s absolutely nothing I can do about the world’s dwindling food supplies. I can choose to feel overwhelmed or I can donate some food to the food drive this fall. And model choice for my children to see me make.

And as I was readying to be done with this subject (which btw, I will never be done with), I saw a neat blog post written by Green With Renvy Blog’s Alison Abbott on 12 Food Festivals Celebrating America’s Bounty. From Vermont to Hawaii, there are foodies feeding and eating at festivals you just didn’t know about. She says, “Attending Food Festivals that support small farmers, makers and fisher folk helps to keep their businesses sustainable. ”  Her love of travel and food are wrapped up in this neat piece and it gives me hope not only for our food culture, but for some really yummy destinations to eat my way to and around. Some day. Hope springs eternal.

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  1. So good I read it twice, fantastic post Shalagh plus great sounding book recommendations. I really want to read those now! I agree it gets overwhelming and depressing but at least we care and we’re trying, making small but important changes at home and spreading the word to like minded people 🙂

    1. You are welcome and thank you for your enthusiasm. I had wanted you to have the Karen Le Billon book link because I thought you of all people would get it. You couldn’t have any links for other’s abuse on your blog so I’m glad you’ve got it now. And Barbara Kingsolver is an amazing writer. Her Prodigal Summer book is luscious and earthy.Good Summer read. You are an absolute inspiration with your cooking Jane and you have done such an amazing job with incorporating it into your blog style. Always flattered for your visits.
      Love to you and yours,

  2. I agree with Jane that this is a fantastic post and I also needed to read it twice to absorb all the information and check out the links. I used to work in a gourmet food & catering shop, and I always remember a favourite customer who was fighting cancer telling me she never worries about the butter and calories of our homemade foods – but rather, the chemicals and processing in packaged foods and the artificial hormones in dairy and meat. It changed my view on diet foods and the lo-fat eating that was huge in the 90s. I just wish this healthier eating was more affordable to low-income families. Thanks Shalagh!

    1. Thanks Dawn. I almost want to apologize for the length. I don’t like bogging readers down. But I had a subject I wanted to discuss thoroughly. Very interesting that you had that job. And you know, it’s less expensive to buy a ‘hot pocket’ than veggies if you want to fill your child’s belly up. You are right on.

      1. This was not too long! I tried to resist the urge to write “it’s food for thought” – but that’s how your post felt. I loved it, as well as the links to further explore. I’m trying to educate myself on this subject – especially about wheat – so I appreciate your in-depth thoughts!

  3. I’ve finally come to read this post that you mentioned I would like several weeks back! It’s a great post. I get a regular veg box delivered from a local farm shop place – I don’t pick what goes in it, they just put whatever is ready and in season, I love it, it’s always a treat when I get home to find my box and see what’s in it! It’s all organic, and it’s not overpriced, it’s a bit more expensive than standard packaged supermarket stuff, but generally less expensive than supermarket organic. I was really shocked a while ago when we were chatting at work, and a couple of people revealed that they won’t eat any kind of home grown fruit or veg, they only like very uniform looking produce wrapped in plastic from the supermarket! I had imagined that everyone would prefer homegrown if given the choice, but no, people are so far removed from nature that they actually prefer the plastic packaged versions.

    1. We did the CSA/boxed from the farm. They were new at it so it wasn’t all that But I did enjoy the knowing that it was fresh. I agree, you’d think that people would be all over fresh organic but they want pretty. And that’s why there’s all that gas being used to truck produce from South America up here. Sigh. Thanks and I’m so happy you came by Vanessa-Jane.

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