Let us look for beauty and grace, for love and friendship, for that which is creative and birth-giving and soul-stretching. Let us dare to laugh at ourselves, healthy, affirmative laughter. Only when we take ourselves lightly can we take ourselves seriously, so that we are given the courage to say, :”Yes! I dare disturb the universe.” – Madeleine L’Engle
It has been 368 days and 12 moon phases since I started this journey with a resolve to nourish my body, mind and soul. By eating locally I discovered the interconnected web one can weave in their own community but nothing could have prepared me for the journey I have taken. I am so grateful for the perspective I have gained through this journey and the support of all those around me especially from my mom, dad, brother and sister (in-law). They were gracious enough to support me, listen to my laments and be my taste testing guinea pigs – for all of this I cannot thank them enough.
This journey has opened my eyes to more about the food system then I have been able to give justice to in this blog. I have a better understanding of the everyday privilege I have to live in a country where I have the ability to choose what and how much I want to eat let alone “eat locally.”
In this final post I want to mull over the influence of perception in our food choices and the potential absurdity of my choice to be a “locavore”. Specifically I want to think about the idea of being a “locavore” or “eating locally” across both time and within society.
Before the industrial revolution and the development of the current international food system everyone was a “locavore”. It was not trendy or a choice – it was a reality. Even today there are communities that still depend on their environment to provide them with all the necessities to survive while other communities could not possibly supply the community with all the nourishment they require. We forget that or at least I do. This journey helped me to better understand how important our environment really is to our survival.
A couple weeks ago I was asked to participate in a challenge to survive on $1.75 a day for 5 days to raise awareness for extreme poverty. So for my next challenge I will consume no more than a $1.75 worth of food a day for five days. I’d like to say I will simply turn to the bounty of my garden but with winter deciding to extend it’s stay here in Canada I imagine I will be eating quite a bit of stone soup that week… If you would like to support me and help raise awareness for extreme poverty you can do so by making a donation here.
The dynamism of the world we live in astounds me but it also encourages me. We are all guilty of our own bias. I don’t believe there is ever only one solution to a problem. But I do believe that there are right and wrong solutions depending on the situation. For example I believe in the merits of eating food sourced close to where you live but if where you lived had toxic soil I would change my opinion.
We can take comfort in the knowledge that the only constant we will ever know is change. Sometimes we can control the change other times we can’t. If we can adapt and grow with the change we are better for it, more flexible. As we learn and experience new things we lose our naivety for a fuller view of the whole picture. We choose whether to be guided by ideology and ignorance or curiosity and evidence. It’s not always easy to change and often times it is scary but, to me, the thought of spending eternity without change is petrifying.
And so that’s it, my final reflection on a year of local eating. Might I suggest mulling over this post with a nice Italian wine, aged Swiss mountain cheese and a french baguette in celebration of good food – local or not!