I need to be honest. I’ve been feeling a little frustrated with the Food Challenge this past week. It’s the amount of time that goes into it. Spring has sprung here in Tennessee and my fickle heart so desires to be outside reveling in the warmth of the sunshine and planting seeds and watching bees and playing with chicks and hiking with my daughter and dining at the picnic table. I’m ready to put away the knitting, the breads, and the heavy foods. I’m ready for easy summer foods! Just as in the Princess Bride I want to “Skip to the end!” of all the hard work and waiting. I want raw foods; tomatoes and peppers with cheese, I want cucumbers and squash and berries! But like the rest of you that are sticking by our self-imposed rules I’ll be waiting as patiently as I can, all the while watching all those delicious and most healthful of foods grow on the vines that I’m now planting. When they arrive they’ll taste all the better. The seasons are changing and I have yet to learn to eat for this season.
This month seems to have affected me and my family in a way I’d never thought possible. I never considered myself a food activist, I always thought of myself as a gardener that enjoyed homegrown food all while being a bit of a Foodie. Going through this challenge has really opened up my eyes so much more to the junk we’re encouraged to feed ourselves. I’ve grown more and more frustrated with the state of food at the public schools including the one my daughter attends. Corndogs, hamburgers, Uncrustables for lunch served with chocolate and strawberry milk? Then to top it off with a sugary snack like cupcakes or Oreos and Capri Sun later in the day? In one year of public schooling, the state untaught almost everything my daughter knew about food. I’m thrilled to see Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution coming to television. I hope the show does make a positive impact on our society and help to make food knowledge even more accesible.
Then there’s the much debated health reform bill (Please hold all political discussions for another website). Staring down American obesity and the state of the food so many of us consume, I’m so completely thrilled to see that chain restaurants will be required to list a “nutrient content disclosure statement”. I’ve always enjoyed (in a demented sort of way) reading those “Eat This, Not That” articles and have been completely floored to see the nutritional content of some of the foods we may view as remotely healthy or even eat on a regular basis. Maybe, just maybe we’re slowly inching toward a better way of living. Perhaps when more people realize what junk they’re literally being fed that we’ll see an actual food revolution. I hope to see more food activists out there demanding a better quality of food, boycotting the junk, telling schools that we want our children to eat better.
Until that day my daughter will be homeschooled, I’ll be working in the garden, eating fresh eggs from my own chickens, using honey that the bees collected, and waiting patiently for the tomatoes to come in. And in the meantime I think I’ll enjoy my first asparagus spear out of my own garden, hoping.