With equal amounts of pride and oblivion she strides in from the backyard. The look on her face says it all. I can tell she’s had a wonderful day, and her gaze serves as a testament to her happiness. I love seeing her like this. Nothing is more important to me than the happiness of those I love. I continue doing the dishes thinking about how in the midst of the world’s great challenges, and the stress of daily life, she has found a way to feel satisfied. But then I see it, like a small detail in a painting that changes the whole picture.
Viola has a bell-pepper in her mouth.
We love salsa. We love it so much, that over the summer Kerri and her mom decided to plant a “salsa garden.” They muddied their hands planting tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, bell peppers, and a bunch of other stuff, only to have our resident troublemakers reap the rewards before we could make our first bowl. Time, money, and energy went into this endeavor, which inevitably only served to supplement the diets of our two 75 lb. dogs. Kerri still hasn’t overcome the defeat.
Lots of our readers told us to grow fruits and vegetables during our experiment, and we would have loved to, but for us that would have meant a serious amount of time and money that we just didn’t have in September. Our situation hasn’t improved since then. Before we can make full use of our backyard, we have to figure out how to make it a place for growing food, and a place for our dogs to grow. Part of this compromise will include building a small fence, that at present we don’t have the time, money, or know how to do. However, it is on the agenda for 2009.
We have already re-thought the way we approach eating, now we just have to rethink our living space in order to make our vision edible. We want change to happen in our backyard, but it requires a fundamentally different approach, much like the global food system.
An article appeared today from the BBC that addresses this need to re-think the system. Shopping smarter is part of the immediate solution to get by, but ultimately, cutting coupons to save money on food is akin to trying to surf your way out of a hurricane. We need a better way to get out of this mess; one that will empower us to take back our health and our planet. Here are just a couple of appetizers from the article to whet your pallet:
“Essentially, what we are dealing with at the moment is a food system that was laid down in the 1940s,” he told BBC News.
“It followed on from the dust bowl in the US, the collapse of food production in Europe and starvation in Asia.
“At the time, there was clear evidence showing that there was a mismatch between producers and the need of consumers.”
Professor Lang, from City University, London, added that during the post-war period, food scientists and policymakers also thought increasing production would reduce the cost of food, while improving people’s diets and public health.
“But by the 1970s, evidence was beginning to emerge that the public health outcomes were not quite as expected,” he explained.
“The consumer today has got to understand that when they make a choice, let’s say an apple – either Chinese, French or English one – they are making a political choice, a socio-economic choice, as well as an environmental one.”
I hope you enjoy the article.