A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.
I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:
Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
â€”The Dalai Lama
Rhubarb is a metaphor for finding happiness in your own backyard.
Buy your snacks from a farmersâ€™ market.
Even when he had a garden in Paris, Thomas Jefferson cultivated Indian corn, â€śto eat green in our manner, â€¦as quickly after it left the stalk as possible.
â€”Evan Jones, from American Food
Thanksgiving this year was, for me, a wonderful time to think about gratitude. I was grateful because my daughterâ€™s family in Paris was safe after the terrorist attacks in that beautiful city. I was grateful, too, that my Thanksgiving was spent with two remarkable 90+ year olds, my stepmother Judith Jones, and her cousin, Jane Gunther. Believe me when I say that they, in spite of their venerable age, still rule the roost, and though this often gives me pause, Iâ€™m grateful that theyâ€™re still celebrating with me. A blessing for sure!
So it seemed the right moment between two holidays that celebrate giving and help us understand how important being grateful is to our sense of self, to write about the importance of food security, a basic right of all people all over the world.
Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot of the Upaya Institute in Sante Fe, New Mexico, writes that one of the gifts we can give each other this season is the gift of non-fear. When food security is guaranteed as it is for many, but not all of us, it helps us to banish fear of hunger. For a great part of the world, there is no end to the fear of hunger. If we solve this problem for the world, so many other problems that hurt and terrify us will end, as well.
Read what Natalie has experienced as a UVM senior in the Food Systems program and remember your local food shelf or food program when you give this year to your favorite organization.
Ă€Â BientĂ´t and Happy Holidays!
Food Insecurity in Vermont
With the abundance of farmers markets, co-ops, and farms in Vermont, it may be surprising to hear that hunger is still a large issue. Despite the thriving local food scene in the state, 13% of all households in Vermont are food insecure, and 1 in 5 children experience hunger at some point.
Food Waste–A Coexisting Problem
At the same time, food waste is just as large of an issue. In the United States, around 40% of all food is wasted. As Peter Singer and Jim Mason state in their book, The Ethics of Eating, â€ś[Waste] reflects nothing more than a casual disregard for what went into producing the food, from the suffering of the animals, to the labor of the workers, to the natural resources consumed and the pollution generatedâ€ť. As Peter Singer and Jim Mason state, this is not simply a waste of nutrients, but a waste of water, seeds, soil, time, energy, and (possible) degradation of our environment.
The Intervale’s Gleaning & Food Rescue Program
However, we are fortunate to have so many amazing organizations and programs working to combat these issues. The Intervaleâ€™s Gleaning and Food Rescue Program in Burlington is one of them. This summer and fall I helped distribute free food shares to low-income individuals as part of this program, which runs from mid July through October and collects leftover produce from farms at the Intervale, such as Diggerâ€™s Mirth. Sometimes this produce is leftover because the farmer simply has too much of it, other times, it is because it is not aesthetically up to consumers standards; however, it still tastes just as good! This produce is then divvied up into shares for individuals and organizations to pick up each week.
Many Factors Lead to Food Insecurity
It was not only so rewarding to directly give food to those in need, but it also gave me insight into the issue of food insecurity as a whole in Vermont. Before this program, I had always thought that rates of food insecurity were higher for women and children. However, after this program, I witnessed that age is also a huge factor in individualâ€™s ability to obtain food. In addition to lack of mobility, many seniors also face increased health problems, which makes it difficult to stand long enough to prepare a meal. One older woman, who came each week, would always leave the butternut squash because she said it hurt her hands to peel it. There are many factors that limit an individualâ€™s access to nutritious meals.
“Just One Paycheck Away”
With Vermontâ€™s new Universal Recycling Law, which bans food scraps from going into the landfill, we will all have to be more aware of the food waste we produce. During this past semester, I also had the opportunity to work with the Agency of Natural Resources to figure out the financial impact of increased food donations at food rescue sites, which will have to increase their infrastructure due to this law. As part of this project I had the privilege to sit down and talk with Sally Metro from the Williston Food Shelf. The Williston Food Shelf provides groceries to families in need twice a month. Each family gets to choose their own food. Sally stated that we all need to be more aware of how we treat individuals in need. â€śWe are all just one pay check away from thisâ€ť, she explained.
During this holiday season, as I spend time with family and friends over meals, I will take time to really give thanks what is on my plate. I encourage everyone with extra food to share it with a friend, family, or local food shelf to show gratitude towards the abundance in your life.
Wishing everyone a healthy and nutritious holiday season,
Posted: 12-20-2015SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG’S FEED
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Food events that have caught my eye.
a La Carte Videos
Bronwyn Dunne and Judith Jones Prepare Two Potato Salads at Bryn Teg. See the recipes
Gateau de Crepes- In Mollyâ€™s Kitchen.
See recipe from the Smitten Kitchen
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