While Christmas is rapidly approaching everyone is trying to figure out meal plans, grocery lists, and what to do with all those leftovers. But have you ever sat down and thought past the grocery store and wondered where your food comes from?
Let’s back up just a little bit. I moved to beautiful Montana in August, but before that I lived in the California salad bowl, the agricultural mecca, of the Monterey Peninsula. I never questioned where my food came from there because it was almost 100% local. Strawberries from Watsonville, CA, artichokes from Castroville, CA, and fish from the Monterey Bay. This is a place where farmers markets are year round and plentiful all year round with everything from fruits and veggies to cheese, meat, and eggs. Well, moving to Montana made me think more about how far my food has to come, what conditions it comes in, and how it was grown. I was at a local grocery store this past week and realized the very popular clementines known as “Cuties” or “Halos” were $9.99 for a flat (box). If I paid $5.99 in Monterey I felt ripped off.
My college degree is a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, which incorporates health, wellness, and nutrition. We watched several documentaries in our Nutrition class about food production, sustainability, as well as common misconceptions about nutrition in food. Well that as been…three years ago…So I recently found them on Netflix and decided to re-watch them and take away the important messages and incorporate them into my cooking life.
Following the Mediterranean diet idea, food should be fresh, local, and in season. Our ancestors didn’t have fresh, tender strawberries in January, so they preserved seasonal fruits and veggies to get them through the off seasons. Today, we have most things year round, but that doesn’t mean they taste how they should. Have you ever had a strawberry look red on the outside to only bite into it and find its white and crunchy? I have decided to try my hand at canning this spring and summer to make healthier, preservative free alternatives with in season, fresh ingredients. Pizza sauce, marinara sauce, strawberry jam, applesauce…I am sure there will be more that I will think of in the coming months, but that is for another post.
Movie #1: Food Inc. (2008)
This documentary was released in 2008 to showcase the corporate side of the American food industry. It shows the not so nice side, but it also shows hope with local growers and their “old fashion” yet important and meaningful philosophy on food production. Now without giving too much away, this movie hits home with the concept of buying local to support your neighbors as well as having the knowledge of how your food was raised and slaughtered.
Movie #2: Forks Over Knives (2011)
This documentary showcases how eating healthy can reverse and control the effects from many degenerative diseases that are plaguing society today. This documentary follows people as they walk on their journey to save themselves from life threatening circumstances such as cancer and diabetes.
Movie #3 Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (2010)
I watched this documentary with my mom two Christmas’ ago. We follow the journey of one man as he juices his way to a healthier lifestyle in 60 days. Now I have tried juicing after watching this documentary but A.) my juicer is poop.. it leaves more behind than it gives me and B.) I like to chew on my food not just drink it..I even chew yogurt, ice cream, smoothies ect..I do think that a juice cleanse may be in my future but we’ll see.
Now there are a few of the many documentaries out there that help bring to light where our food comes from, how it effects our body, and how eating well can help ward off, reverse, or control many of the diseases of today.
** All of the participants in these films were under doctors watch, do NOT start a new diet plan or follow the examples of these individuals without consulting your physician**
Hopefully Y’all find these just as interesting and inspiring as I did, and still do.