Shining one corner – occupy {2}

No recipe in this post, but if you like food, this is important :)

Marion Nestle, in yesterday’s NYT:

Healthy eating requires a food environment that makes it easier for everyone to make better choices. It also requires a food system that makes it cheaper to buy fruits and vegetables than less healthful foods, so everyone can afford to eat healthfully. Fix the farm bill! (read the full article here)

Lots of people far more eloquent and legally versed than me are talking about the food bill – here, or here, or here. Marion Nestle calls out the food system and its role in our country’s health problems, and I think for many of us she is preaching to the choir. But this idea of a food environment, rather than just a system, is subtle – it brings the responsibility back to us as individuals, which is another way of saying that it gives us back some power. The vast behemoth of big agriculture and industrial food-product creation probably overwhelms even the bravest among us. But our own personal food environments – this is a place where we can make an impact, and see a difference, day to day.

We can teach our kids to eat healthfully, and we can ask our kids “Are you still hungry?” instead of “Are you full?” We can eat locally, vote with our dollars, keep fruits and vegetables in our kitchens instead of Oreos and Pop-Tarts. Or if we have to have the Oreos and Pop-Tarts, we can make them – leaving out the real scary stuff, eliminating the packaging, and on the best days teaching our kids about how to nurture themselves and their bodies with what they put into them.

Changing our home environments might not feel like taking on the system in the ways we want to and ultimately need to – and there is a place for big action, a place for speaking truth to power. But there is also a place for taking care of our selves and our families. We impact our own food environments every day – and I think it is important to know that it matters.  We can shine one corner of the world.

(Or paint it, as the case may be).

Cheers to all of you out there shining your corners. Thank you for feeding your families with love, and awareness, and hope for a brighter food future.

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