Do you ever find yourself wondering where your food came from?
The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture recently put out a study on how global our food system has become. According to the research, the world’s dependence on foreign crops has increased to 69%. If you’ve ever wondered the origin of your favourite foods, the study produced this interactive map!
I think about this often. It could be because I am working on food-related research myself, but it is also something I try to bring into my personal life. I have been lucky to live in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario this past month as there is an abundance of local produce and it is very affordable. Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere in our country. It can be hard to find one local vegetable in the grocery store in certain cities, depending on the time of year. If you depend on the food bank for your food, you’re most likely getting imported produce that will probably spoil within a few days. By the time you get access to it it’s been off the plant a long time.
A few weeks ago I was invited to participate in a harvest of sweet corn through the Gleaners Guild of Waterloo Region. What is gleaning you ask?
“A common model, and the model currently used by the Gleaners Guild, is that the volunteers harvest fruit on public or private land that might otherwise go to waste: 1/3 of the harvest goes to the property owner, 1/3 gets donated to local organizations such as Food Banks or local soup kitchens, and volunteer harvesters will receive 1/3 of the harvest to enjoy themselves, as well as the satisfaction that hard work and friendly companionship brings!” -Gleaners Guild of Waterloo Region website.
I ended up with a lot of corn to take home and I learned how to prepare the corn for freezing. If you are interested in the process I used, please see this post.
It was such a great experience to participate in the harvest and to eat the corn that I picked from the farmer’s field. It felt good to know where my food came from and it helped me to feel more connected to my meal.
This past weekend I participated in a digital storytelling workshop through school. In this workshop, we all made short videos that told a story. I chose to tell this story and I wanted to share it with all of you. It is not perfect and it is a little “corny” (forgive me) but I wanted to share it anyway.
What are some ways you feel connected to food?
I’d love to hear from you. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Facebook!
Edit: The incorrect name was used for the Gleaners Guild of Waterloo Region in the video credits. Please visit their Facebook page for more information.