I’ve mentioned before my family tradition of sharing what we’re thankful for before we begin eating our Thanksgiving feast.
While this year has been a challenging one for so many people I know (and certainly my family hasn’t been immune to this) I think that there is still plenty for us to be thankful for, particularly when it comes to food and our food sources. This year, I’m looking more broadly than my little family. Here’s what I think we all can be thankful for:
I am thankful that the Obama administration seems to have an interest in local, organic, naturally grown foods and is taking steps within the White House to set a good example for the rest of the nation. The White House has a kitchen garden, and a beehive, which has produced around 140 pounds of honey so far.
I am thankful that good organic food is getting easier and less expensive to come by. While some people worry about greenwashing” and about the ulterior motives of companies like Walmart jumping on the organic bandwagon, I think that whatever their intentions, if it means educating consumers about organic food and making it more readily available to a larger portion of the population, that’s a good thing. I’m particularly thankful for companies like Costco, which are working with their suppliers to convert their farms to organic operations.
I am thankful for all the books, movies and media attention given to the problems with our nation’s food industry, and am hopeful that each will do their own part in making our food safer, more wholesome, and better for the environment. Movies like Food, Inc. and books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan); Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Barbara Kingsolver); and Food Matters (Mark Bittman) can open our eyes to the realities of our food system and educate us so that we can vote with our dollars and our mouths.
I am thankful for the increase in organic, all-natural grocery products from socially responsible companies that make it easy for busy moms like me to feed their families without guilt. In particular, I’m always impressed by products from Kashi and Amy’s, and I’m heartened to see newer companies, such as Three Sisters (makers of all-natural cereal packaged in environmentally responsible bags), being able to get placement in large national chain stores.
I am thankful for the do-it-yourself foodies who are helping to create a movement in old-fashioned trends like home food preservation, gardening and baking from scratch. By making things ourselves, rather than buying them at the supermarket, it helps us control the ingredients that go into our food and fosters a better understanding of and appreciation for what we eat.
What are you thankful for?