I'm a little behind on the blog, but hopefully this weekend I can get caught up on the highlights of everything. First of all, the Food and Faith Challenge: check out the explanation here... this is put on by The Local Cook, who was also a participant in the Dark Days Challenge.
I had a slight pause in joining the Challenge since the texts that are focused upon are very much Christian based (an fyi... I'm Jewish), but as someone who has studied religion at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, it's not like I haven't seen the new testament before and conveniently much of it is sourced from the first 5 books (aka "old" testament) anywho. In addition, it sounded like Wendy (I'm pretty sure that's her name) is pretty welcoming and open to non-Christian participation, and the focus seems to be how each person relates their food experience with their own faith - which I can certainly do!
The first week (last week), the topic was "where does your food come from?"
My biggest concern about the current food chain is the loss of flavor and nutrients in industrial ag's produce. In a very short period of time we have gone from a nation (and world, for that matter) where communities grew their own produce and ate it only when in season to an environment where nothing is off limits at any time of the year. Don't get me wrong... those champagne mangos (grown in chili, maybe?) are mightly tasty - so flavor is not always sacrificed. But the resources required to get those mangos to me in Baltimore in the dead of winter are certainly contributing to a much larger problem.
•At your usual grocery store, see if you can find information about where the produce is grown. Then check out meat, milk, and eggs. Is any of it local?
I am very proud to say that our "usual grocery store" is a small locally owned market where the owner carefully sources everything she sells. If she sells eggs- she visits the farm and makes sure the conditions are acceptable. Just about every item in the store lists the source of the food, and about 90% is within 100 miles of the store. We've gotten to the point where we go to the market to pick up our Winter Buyers Co-op (in the winter) or CSA (June-Nov), and then grab whatever dairy, meat or bread we might need - AND THEN, if there is an additional something in particular we need which cannot be found at the market, we'll hit the "regular" supermarket. Honestly - I say we (as in my hubby and I), but the local agenda is being pushed by me - and my very lovely husband is being very good in going with my SOLE leanings when I am in the lead. When he runs to get ingredients for a dinner he is fixing while I am working late - he still goes straight to the supermarket for the meat that's on sale or the frozen totino's pizza. Baby steps, I say.... I try and pick my battles for now.
In the summer we try and hit the farmers market at least every other week - but with the CSA and the fact that we've begun growing some of our own veg - we're normally swimming in local produce.
A quick note on the text selection:
3 He will judge between many peoples
and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
4 Every man will sit under his own vine
and under his own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
for the LORD Almighty has spoken.
The bolded is the emphasis from The Local Cook - the italics highlight a passage I am much more familiar with. It is good to see the two passages together.... that once we stop fighting there might come a time when we would all be able to provide sustanance for ourselves and our families.... although I'd like to think that we can work on both goals concurrently!