So what call to action do I want to leave you with today?
Sustainable farms support local economies by providing jobs for members of the community and purchasing supplies from local businesses. A University of Minnesota study showed that small farms with gross incomes of $100,000 or less made almost 95 percent of farm-related expenditures within their local communities.
When you shop with local farms, at farmer’s markets, CSA or co-ops you put dollars directly into farmer’s pockets, you also get more delicious food.
As Barbra Kingsolver said in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Food is the rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure. Why resist that?
Learn to cook, if you don’t know how. It does not have to be fancy. The Food Network has made us think that cooking is a spectator sport. It most definitely is not! Learn to make one or two go to recipes, when you’re comfortable with those, add a couple more.
Gather with friends and share meals. Have you noticed that whenever you have a group of people over, everyone ends up in the kitchen? Our instincts tell us that that is where we belong together.
Be part of organizations like our Slow Food, pay attention to where your food comes from.
Raise your voice and make your opinion known. In this age of internet activism it is easier than ever to be part of a movement. Follow organizations like the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Roots of Change and people like Alice Waters and Michael Pollan to keep up with what’s happening in the sustainable food arena.
Remember the story I told you about the friendship I made over a box lunch on a bus? That relationship has nurtured me for 5 years now, even interweaving with my work with Slow Food. Through Lisa I met Anna, a sheep farmer in Wisconsin with a herd of Navajo Churo Sheep. Anna and her husband Steve were looking to reduce their flock, and we were on the lookout for Ark of Taste breeds to add to the farm. A sale/trade/barter agreement was worked out involving sheep and pigs and some cash and we began our flock of sheep last summer.
Mutually beneficial, interdependant, part of a system that creates a positive feedback loop of interconnectedness – those are the qualities that will make slow food (lower case), local food a solution that can feed the planet.