It's quite interesting how many people grow up with fruit trees in their yards. They watch the leaves fall in autumn and they anticipate new fruit when blossoms appear in the spring. Somehow that fruit is different than what our parents brought us from the grocery store. What falls from the trees in our backyards are bruised and spotted. A lot of the time those backyard peaches were never quite as large and the apples were never as shiny. But didn't it feel amazing after a year of anticipation to finally pick that fruit? Don't you have more memories picking that fruit and didn't they taste better?
What I've learned last week on the food intensive was that my answer to all of these questions is yes. We visited a huge variety of places at every end of the food system, and at every place I pictured myself harvesting, milking, planting, herding, in different ways. That's how I determined whether or not I thought that specific part of the food system was sustainable, just, and peaceful. For example, I would never be caught driving a forklift around a warehouse filling orders, but I couldn't wait to try planting all the new species of food I'd seen. From this method of viewing the places I went I realized that I need to hit the books and find out what’s in even the staple foods I eat. I think it’s not only important to know what’s in jelly beans, but also fava beans. If I know what vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. are going into me, then I’m going to understand what I should and should not eat. I don't think that my way of determining peace, justice, and sustainability is right for everyone, but I do know that it has helped me see that I want to work toward a relationship with everything that I eat, because if I know how it grows, what goes into it, and the quality of life that my food has I know it will be more nourishing and definitely taste better.