Last month I attended the Farm To Table Conference in Pittsburgh. The theme this year was ‘Do It Yourself’. I loved meeting the farmers who actually grow the food. Being in touch with the farmers fosters conscientiousness about what we are putting in our mouths and has so many social, environmental and health benefits. The message that came across many times during the conference was that the health of our bodies is indeed reflected in the health of our planet.
A highlight of the weekend was Faith Star’s talk. She taught about familiarizing yourself with the medicinal weeds that grow in your backyard and using them in your kitchen. How much more gratifying is it to learn creative ways to put them in your salad dressing, teas or smoothies rather than futilely trying to pull them or even spraying them with toxic chemicals?
Possibly my favorite moment of the conference was hearing Tommy Boehner, an 8-year old boy from Mt. Lebanon, speak about how his life and health have changed since eliminating his food allergies from his diet. Tommy could recite the list of foods by memory and he told us about how the kids at school help him out with his diet in the lunchroom by not bringing peanut butter sandwiches or his other trigger foods to school. The audience chortled as Tommy mentioned that he no longer has to spend so much time on the toilet anymore. His stomach doesn’t ache as much either!
So many of us get stuck in a rut of eating the same foods all the time. We dash in and out of the grocery store rather than looking at what is in season. A unique approach is to go to a farmer’s market instead and challenge yourself to find ways to eat new vegetables. We have access to so many websites that offer recipes these days that it can be fun. If you cannot find a way, then throw it in a smoothie! Sign up for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and eat local, organic produce that is delivered to your neighborhood. It is an important step towards getting in touch with your local farmers and bringing conscious awareness to our food, bodies and the planet!