Fourteen is rather more resolutions then I usually make – if I top it out at 12, it gives me a whole month to work on each one….if I remember any of them by the 1st of February. So here, 12 is the new 14.
Since I started with the Food Tank article, there are a few of those resolutions that I’d like to revise a little anyhow.
First off, the order is not quite right…and some of the ‘resolutions’ make assumptions about your time and money, so here goes my version.
- Cook. Before you can cook, you probably need some sort of kitchen set-up. So start with Prepare Food . You need a place that offers the four elements – hot, cold, wet and dry: A stove/oven; a fridge/freezer; a sink with water and a counter/table. Each of these sections has it’s own variety of tools, but until you’ve thought what you like to eat and when and how, prep work is still in the fantasy phase. We’ll be working on this. I haven’t read the newest Pollen yet, but I have read interviews and excerpts, and I’ve recommended (and still do) his other books
- Eat Seasonal Produce
By purchasing local foods that are in season, you can help reduce the environmental impact of shipping food. And your money goes straight to the farmer, supporting the local economy. Seasonal makes sense, but unless you live in Southern California, it can be a little limiting. But do take the local option when it is available. In the last few years, whenever I read of the local die-hards limiting themselves to a 100 mile diet year round, I suddenly want mangoes and pineapples and Parmigiano cheese from Italy and all sorts of things that aren’t the least little bit of local. There are also the Fair Trade issues.which brings us
- Consider the ‘True Cost’ Of Your Food
Based on the price alone, inexpensive junk food often wins over local or organic foods. But, the price tag doesn’t tell the whole story. True cost accounting allows farmers, eaters, businesses, and policy makers to understand the cost of all of the “ingredients” that go into making fast food–including antibiotics, artificial fertilizers, transportation, and a whole range of other factors that don’t show up in the price tag of the food we eat. On the other hand, the monetary cost IS a factor when you go to cash out, so you can’t ignore it. So put your money where your mouth is, and don’t let the Food Bullies fill your cart (and empty your wallet) for you.
- Share Knowledge Across Generations
Older people have challenges–and opportunities–in accessing healthy foods. They’re sharing their knowledge with younger generations by teaching them about gardening and farming, food culture, and traditional cuisines. It’s also important to make sure that older people are getting the nutrition they need to stay active and healthy for as long as possible. Don’t BE a Food Bully, especially to ‘older people’ who, for instance , may have given birth to you. If anyone gets to eat for enjoyment, it ought to be the 80+ crowd. BUT, take the time to learn about food culture and traditional cuisine. Keep those food traditions alive!
- Go Meatless Once a Week
To produce 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of beef can require 6,810 liters (1,799 gallons) of water and 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of pork can require 2,180 liters (576 gallons) of water. Beef, pork, and other meats have large water footprints and are resource intensive. Consider reducing your “hoofprint” by decreasing the amount and types of meat you consume. Most traditional foodways have LOTS of meatless options. This also lets your dollars go further.Whole grains are good and good for you.
- End Food Waste
More than 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted each year. Tips to reduce waste include planning meals ahead, buying ‘ugly’’ fruits and vegetables, being more creative with recipes, requesting smaller portions, composting, and donating excess food. This comes across as just a little preachy, but the truth is nearly half of all food purchased is tossed out. Time for a little more Saturday Morning Soup Pot, Gratin du Frigidaire, Whatever Fritatta, and Stew of the Night Before the Next Trip to the Store. This is also a factor in the True Cost. PS – You’re PLENTY creative – that’s how you got so much food around in the first place.
- Meet Your Local Farmer
Know your farmer, know your food (KYF2) aims to strengthen local and regional food systems. Meeting your local farmer puts a face to where your food comes from and creates a connection between farmers and consumers. Local Farmers Markets are a great place to meet your local farmers. Farmers know all sorts of things about the food they sell.
- Buy (or Grow) Organic
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that at least one pesticide is in 67 percent of produce samples in the U.S. Studies suggest that pesticides can interfere with brain development in children and can harm wildlife, including bees. Growing and eating organic and environmentally sustainable produce we can help protect our bodies and natural resources. Not all of your local farmers are organic – the certification can be cumbersome -so pick a farmer you know, that’s why you want to know the farmer first. They’ll tell you how they’re growing it.
- Now for a few that got “overlooked” Eat food. If there is an ingredient list, do you recognize what’s in it? Or is it full of things that you can’t pronounce? Read and think.
- Eat mindfully. Pay attention to what goes into your mouth. Grazing is good for cows and horses, not so good for people.
- Make a meal of it. At least once a day, sit at a table, with a plate. Standing at the counter is not a meal; neither is sitting in front of the TV or reaching into the fridge and ‘tasting’ as you go. Cereal from a box? Not a meal.
- Eat with others. How often depends on how social you are. But once or twice a week.
What are your Food Resolutions for 2014?