What’s Your Food Story?

What’s Your Food Story?

Photo: Thanksgiving with friends and family at my house, growing up.

I’m reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and it’s a deep reminder and true account of where our food comes from, sourcing local and the history of food. Barbara and her family spend one year deliberately feeding themselves only products they grew in their garden or close to home.

Barbara’s story is inspirational and I highly recommend this book. It’s rich with facts, stories and memories of food. Furthermore, she doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Her daughter and husband have excerpts and recipes throughout the book, as well so it’s truly a family affair.

As I share this book, many friends have told me the book inspired them to start buying mostly from farmers markets or locally and to others, it opened their eyes and they’re considering living a different way.

To me, it confirms the way I’ve been raised. My mother, much like Barbara, has her own garden and her father (my Italian Grandfather) always did as well. She served food fresh and organic, far before it was trendy and the thing to do.

After a recent trip home to Iowa, I joked how my mom has her close, longtime friend and farmer, Claude on speed-dial (this is 2011 people) to hear the latest and freshest produce he just picked. For 20 years Claude and his wife Sharon have been hand-delivering fresh vegetables and fruit to my family from their local farm, only a few miles away.

Iowa corn, ready to grill from our trip back home.

When we were home, Claude brought us fresh blackberries glistening with beaded water over their almost black brightness and a handful of onions for our turkey, curry meatballs.

Now, on my own food journey. Many years out of living at home with my wonderful family, the book reminds me how to buy, what to buy and to keep my family’s values and Italian food traditions alive.

The older I get, the more important it is.

Cooking Italian Zeppole with my mom (to right of me) my Nunnie, her sisters (My Great-Aunts) and my cousin.

My food story:

Without thinking, I pick up the yellow bags at the local market and buy organic.

I’m two blocks from Boulder’s farmers market and head there after work on Wednesday and/or Saturday morning for the freshest produce.

Processed food? It’s slim to none when you open my cupboards (but, I could still do less of it).

I share and cook my family’s Italian recipes, with my Grandparents and Great-Grandparents in mind.

My footprint is small. I bike to work each day and use my car, just a few times a week.

I cook everything from scratch. You won’t find much frozen food in my freezer or pre-made meals. My mom taught us this. We had meals together as a family each week where we had to sit down at the table, talk and share from the day. We never watched TV while eating growing up, either. As a teenager, I wanted to be out with my friends, but now, I appreciate this special delight that is so rare.

If anything, this is a tribute to the healthy, progressive vision of my parents’ food decisions. Thank you mom and dad. Love you.

“Americans put almost as much fossil fuel into our refrigerators as our cars…” -Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

What’s your food story? And while you’re at it, pick up a copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It’s incredible.