Monday, October 31, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
"Canada urgently needs a national food policy. Close to two and a half million Canadians are food insecure. Farmers and fishers are going out of business, our natural environment is being pushed to the limit, a quarter of Canadians are considered obese, and we are the only G8 country without a nationally-funded school meal program. The status quo is no longer an option.
The need for change is widely recognized and plans to develop national food policies or strategies are being advanced by many sectors, including all five federal political parties and influential industry groups. The People’s Food Policy is significantly different from these initiatives. It is the first-ever national food policy to be developed by the food movement itself – a diverse and dynamic network of organizations and individuals working to build a healthy, ecological and just food system for Canada.
The People’s Food Policy embodies a wave of concern, interest and action by citizens who are increasingly questioning how our current food system is organized. From connecting directly with food producers, to reclaiming indigenous food systems, to setting up food policy councils, people across Canada are taking actions daily that are transforming our food system from the ground up. These actions need to be translated into policy." - People's Food Policy Project
Read the entire document here. It's simply brilliant, even if you're not Canadian.
Monday, May 2, 2011
My brain on the internet. Quick pop and sizzle.
I've been a wee bit absent from my blog lately. I really enjoy the avenue blogging affords me, but I'm finding it a bit tougher to find relevance in it all. A few weeks ago, I started reading, "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains". Let's just say it hasn't helped the gnawing feeling that something is going on in this internet saturated noggin of mine. I highly recommend the book. Get it.
I have been noticing, as of late, that my hunger for information has only grown as I've been given access to more of it. Right, my name is Tara and I'm an information addict. Seriously, I am. I want to know more about everything. I want to reinforce my beliefs with all sorts of studies and authorities giving me the a-o.k. so I can feel secure in my position. I can carry forward with confidence knowing that bright minds around the world say 'it's all good'.
It's nice to have a group of people reinforcing one's beliefs and opinions. I don't know many people that feel the way we do about food and health so it's pretty cool to find 'a community' out there that does. Comfort in numbers and all that jazz.
But, I do know some people, like for real, like in flesh and blood and all, that do feel the way I do about farming, about eating and living in a responsible way. And the people I know that are doing the most profound work in the direction of changing our food systems and policies, our farming practices, and our approach to health, are doing it by making real connections with real people. They are standing up with a voice, getting in the face of the issue. They do it away from a screen and they are so much more effective than I.
There has to come a time when we have enough information doesn't there? When I can say, hey I know this is good, I don't know everything there is to know, but it's enough for me. I can now bow out and immerse myself in more pertinent work where I can see forward movement, changes if only small. A lot of you who have been reading my blog know that I'm working to having my own farm. I'll be heading a couple of provinces over again in a few months to work at my dear friends' farm. It's in this work that I feel most empowered and effective as an agent of change.
Very shortly, we will have our own farm where I can put my energy towards learning what I need to know so I can produce the very best food I can for ourselves and our community. I'm looking forward to join forces with food policy activists to make changes in our broken system. People have a fundamental right to good food. Children have a right to good food. Maybe being a Mama makes me sensitive to it, but it breaks my heart to see how disconnected children are from their food. I'm going to do something about that.
I think I've written what I wanted to write. I've said what I wanted to say. I'm not interested in posting recipes and reasons why someone should eat this or that. There are many fine people doing that on the internet. I'm also hesitant to be swallowed up in the ever growing paleo net. We eat well, the way people should. I don't need a title or group for that. I think, if anything, naming it as something dilutes how we eat. We eat the way people were designed to eat, without the invented foods of man. Pretty simple.
So, all this rambling brings me back to where I started. That book I mentioned earlier, "The Shallows". I've been feeling like something has been changing in my brain for the last while. Why can't I sit and read for an hour like I used to? Why am I always multi-tasking instead of just sitting with one task until it's completed? Turns out there's a very real reason why. Pick up the book if you want to learn more.
I want to live a life my body and spirit were designed to live. To move, to lift, to eat well, to build and participate in real life communities. I seem to lose that real stuff with my consumption of digital information. That's just me though. Remember, I said I have an information addiction? I'm a bona fide junkie my friends. I'm pretty good at stepping back and seeing areas of disfunction in my life and peering out at the horizon, looking for ways to improve. I can see it many a thing out there. Time to do something about it.
With that, I bid you all adieu. For me, it's back to books and dirty fingernails. My deepest appreciation for the time you have all invested in reading my words. I look forward to popping into your blogs every now and then, but for now, I know what I need to know to live a healthy life. Time for me to start enjoying that health to do the stuff I need to do.
... like hunt for frogs with my lovelies.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Ohhh mama, you need smell-o-vision to really get what's going on here. Slurp.
I like to post a couple of quick lunches every now and then to show people that eating well doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out endeavour. Still, I also happen to think that it's important to take time to make some longer, involved recipes. There's something very rewarding about taking my time and really paying attention to what I'm doing in the kitchen. I like marveling at my ingredients, injecting a steak with gratitude or some raw butter with admiration. I have no doubt that the energy we have when cooking shows up on the plate.
One of our most beloved, takes-a-long-time-but-is-well-worth-it meals is braised Chinese oxtail with a bunch of chopped and roasted cauliflower to soak up all of the saucy deliciousness. The recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, Bones by Jennifer McLagan. I always triple the recipe (a little trick I employ to make the time spent in the kitchen pay dividends via multiple meals afterwards). If you've never had oxtail, I can't think of a better recipe to start with. After experiencing this meal for the first time, we all agreed that we'd rather have oxtail over ribs any day. Yes, it's that good.