We have all heard that saying before.  “You are what you eat!” And it’s not the junk we know about, it’s everything behind it we don’t know. So what are we eating? That is the question you should ask yourself every time you go and buy food. No exceptions.

Care about yourself, care about others, care about the world. We are not independent or unique as we were all made to believe. Forget “special” or “winner” because in this game, we all win together and lose together.

It may take a few blog entries to cover the ground that this farmer and this wonderful group of local volunteers educated me on tonight. The basics I knew.. mostly.. and I thought I would have considered myself as “informed” . But just like the roots to plants, everything went much deeper. And what seemed like a complex problem, it all really had an easy solution.

Choice.

1) We know we have to eat, it’s required to fuel our machine (body) that carries us through our daily activities in existing.

2) What do we feed this body? Like any machine it requires the basics to sustain energy or fuel to keep all its parts in check and functioning properly. Break all the foods down that we should be eating and it comes down to some simple elements.. protein, vitamins, minerals, fats and fibres.

Forget what the government teaches us on the food pyramid, all these elements can be provided through fruits and vegetables alone. Adding meats for certain minerals and protein substitutes. And the quantities of these groups can be debated.

3) Barriers – 100 years ago luxury items consisted of fresh fruits (since most were not native to Canada) you got what was available and what was grown locally. Now.. it’s all about flavour, pleasure eating, convenience and the biggest of all barriers.. PRICE!

4) The barriers make up our decision whether to buy from the farmer, grow our own food, buy from a grocery store or worse, fast food restaurant. Besides affecting one of the barriers mentioned above, we don’t often think about the other consequences associated with our choices.

• How it was made
• Where it was made
• How it got here
• Results of it being consumed (waste)
• Short/Long term health impacts
• Short/Long term environmental impacts
• Short/Long term economical impacts

Sounds like a lot to think about every time you purchase an item to feed your machine. It can be overwhelming, but that fact that you question it, is the beginning. Educating yourself is the next step and action is the third step.

5) Action – Ask questions, think about what you buy, what you need it for and the results you are looking for. Not only does asking questions help you, but it also has its impact on the person you are asking it to. If they are not able to provide an answer, they should be interested in at least asking their own questions if not finding you the answer you are looking for or providing you with some resources.

 

TIPS:
• Don’t be afraid, ask away. Your time, money and life are precious. Treat them that way and provide only the best resources for it.

• Educate yourself – lots of resources, groups and information is available locally and nationally about products and services you are purchasing.

• Educate others – each question you ask to another person, immediately plants the seed of finding the answer not just for yourself but to the person you are asking the question to.

• Be responsible to yourself and to your environment. Always know that we support one another equally and that balance is important to stay healthy and live a positive happy life.