The Power of We in Food Education

Welcome to my first (and definitely not last) post as a part of Blog Action Day 2012.

Blog Action Day is an free annual event, that has run since 2007. It’s aim is to unite the world’s bloggers by posting about the same issue on the same day, in order to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all.blog action day

One type of education that needs the Power of We is food education. Food education is not a part of formal education yet (not to mention the unhealthy cafeteria lunches), and eating habits are largely formed within the home, and influenced by advertisements. I definitely speak from experience when I say that my journey in food has been an interesting one.

dunkaroos

I used to love this cookie and frosting combo.

Some of my favorite lunch time snacks used to be dunkaroos, gushers, and the crackers that came with spreadable cheese. A wonderful mix of cookies and frosting, “fruit” snacks, and highly processed cheese – not necessarily snacks that could be classified as nutritious. Today, I choose more wisely when it comes to food choices, by shopping at local markets and staying away from highly processed food.

But, I could easily still eat what I used to and what is readily available when shopping at traditional supermarkets. It’s important to be aware of where our food comes from (no, it doesn’t just magically appear on the shelves), and what it is that we are putting into our bodies.

Avocado caprese salad

Now I prefer food like this avocado caprese salad.

Why do I think such awareness is important? Because many of us lead unhealthy lives at the cost of mind, body, and soul, as well as at the cost of others. Many companies that manufacture what they call food, source their products from other countries, oftentimes making use of land grabs that displace local people. Not only does it destroy the economy of that country, but undermines the efforts of farmers (the ones not subsidized for corn or other popular crop) here in the U.S. as well. We may not always see these effects, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

But, it takes more than one person or family to influence a change in societal behavior, and that is the power of a community coming together. There are many ways to continue our food education. Here are some people who I think are great resources for furthering food education and community building:

  • Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution program. The ultimate goal is to have healthy, balanced meals served at lunch time at school cafeterias, so that children have a chance to eat real food instead of the processed stuff they are most likely eating now.
  • The Perennial Plate (who I’ve blogged about before). What I’ve loved about following their journey is the dedication to socially responsible and adventurous eating, as well as the focus on discovering how food is grown, raised, and prepared in humane ways. They will soon be (Oct. 25 to be exact) kicking off season 3, which starts in Japan.
  • From Scratch Club. A small group of women, living within the Capital Region (Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs) striving for a sustained connection to our kitchens, our gardens and our communities by being advocates for local food, farming & home cooking. Ever since I’ve started following their blog, I’ve learned so much about farms, distilleries, DIY projects and homemade cooking.

Where do you go for great food resources and education?

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