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What’s for dinner?

What’s for dinner, Is a phrase that I heard so many times when my children were growing?  Sometimes I felt like the question was coming from bodies that were starving right at that moment and I should stop what I was doing and pour it in.

I love food and eating.  Food and love have always gone hand and hand in my life in a parade of give and take.

My partner and I are children of parents who experienced the great depression first hand and knew hunger and shortages.  Hunger was different for them because they grew up on farms and they were part of the feeding the poor in the cities.  Until I was 16, I never lived in a home without a huge garden and tremendous food preservation practices to be attended to, without complaint.

It was easy for us to fall into the garden practice when we got married, the Food Cooperative, Voluntary Simplicity, local fish market, working at the Cooperative for our bulk food items, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) brought us a box a food every week. Our study group brought us new ideas on parenting, healing with food and the politics of food in our monthly discussions.   We bartered and traded for childcare, rides and services.   We organized an alternative school program, and had a garden for lunch eating and a worm box to create fertilizer.  This community has developed a huge gathering of alternative healers and practitioners.

Lots of folks eat RAW foods, vegan, vegetarian, and mostly organic.  The local farmers raise free range chickens and we buy in bulk and put it in our freezers.  Even several of the traditional grocery stores are now changing their patterns of doing business to stay in business in our location.  Supply and Demand works well here.   All around us are the big box stores, cheap goods stores, and fast food, they arrive all wrapped up in lots of advertisements and the claims of something for nothing.

At risk teenagers grow gardens of food for the food bank and help to develop storage systems so there is plenty even in winter.  We lead the US in recycling programs.  Green is a daily thing and helping everyone survive and grow is a high priority.

My partner and I are working on eating locally – everything from within 100 miles of our house.  We do have to order some specialty items because we are a Gluten Free zone, but most of those are still within 100 miles.

Then my new YES! Magazine came in the mail.   This issue is called Food for Everyone!   This is a collection of all the positive things people are doing around the world about food to feed people.  The first article I read was about a huge city that ended hunger – everyone gets a free lunch!  No lie!  No Hunger!

I follow YES! Magazine on Twitter.   You can too.

Every day this week, I have recommended one of the articles from this issue to someone. I can think of no better birthday gift to give my family and friends than a subscription to this magazine.  I own every issue of the magazine which I am going to give to our local high school which lost its library’s roof during a snow storm – I have donated a subscription to the school for years.

Two things I love have come together, Food and YES! Magazine, can you top that?

Have you read David Korten’s new book Agenda for a New Economy or one of his older ones, When Corporations Rule the World?   Two economics books I can hardly put down – there are excerpts in the magazine.

Maybe you will want to check it out at YesMagazine.org and come back and tell us what you think?

How do you think we could end hunger? What are your statistics and facts about food?  What is your communities overall position on food and hunger in your neighborhood?

12 Responses to “What’s for dinner?”

  1. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    Hi Patricia – My dad was an organic gardener his entire life – except when he reached the point where he said, “All I can grow any more is tired.” But, I remember Rodale’s Organic Gardening magazine coming in the mailbox, his compost heap, helping the harvest along. I married a gardener, too, who uses a lot of my father’s wisdom, which I have now come to know is universal. I love that today’s challenges are yielding innovation and connection to the “old” ways of doing thing. Thanks for a great post.

    Betsy Wuebkers last blog post..A NEW WAY TO PLAY FOR LITTLE DAISY

  2. Vered - MomGrind Says:

    I love food too. I’m pretty sure everyone does?

    “YES!” magazine sounds wonderful. What a worthy cause. I always assumed hunger wasn’t much of a problem in the United States.

    Vered – MomGrinds last blog post..The Psychology of Advertising

  3. Mark Says:

    Thanks for sharing. My father who grew up in the depression also was on a farm and said that his family’s life did not change during the depression, they had ample food and were still dirt poor.
    In my community today, I don’t think too much is going on in regards to co-ops and gardens.

    Marks last blog post..Must We Choose Between a Spiritual Path and a Material Path of Success?

  4. Patricia Says:

    Betsy,
    Thank you for coming by and I know you folks are great gardeners – it is such earthy fun. 4 young couples on my street have ripped out their grass and have been putting in fabulous gardens this year – this is so fun to see. Also we made the kids swing set fort lumber into a raised bed so I don’t have to bend over to pick the specialty blueberry bushes which are short growers.

    Vered,
    I read Yes, Magazine from cover to cover and follow it on twitter and facebook….Fran Korten the publisher lived across the street from Obama’s Mother in Indonesia – and that it is so positively packed with information. It revs my engines !

    They always have a page or two about alternative products and children’s needs – and a issue every couple of years about alternative healing…

    Mark,
    You might be surprised about your community and what they are doing with food. The Slow Food movement is huge also, but I did not pick on them as I am preparing my garden!

    I did find this quote: “Americans now spend more on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars; more than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music combined.”

    Most fast food is not locally grown food…it is imported food – traveling thousands of miles and losing most of it’s nutrients.

    I just read a story about CSA boxes that folks in New York City enjoy.

  5. Jannie Funster Says:

    I too am a local food advocate. Big on bulk.

    We do have a good Co-Op here and church programs.

    I need to look into what I can do more of, garden. And can would be good.

    Here I go now to Yes magazine….

    Jannie Funsters last blog post..$69.97

  6. Patricia Says:

    Jannie,
    Hope you found YES! magazine interesting.
    I am working on planting a salad bowl first this year…then to keep moving it to shady spots and re plant every two weeks…see if I can defeat the deer and have fresh salad all summer – actually I have 4 bowls to work with…and rotate.

    I am not a great gardener just like puttering, but wow does it pay off, in feeling great.

  7. Friar Says:

    Well, living in NorthEastern Ontario, in Canadian Shield country (i.e. mostly granite rock…few farms), I wouldn’t be thrilled with a 100 mile diet.

    That would pretty much eliminate all fruit, except for apples from the odd orchard. (And blueberries or strawberries, maybe a few weeks of the year).

    And chocolate….well, forget THAT!….unless you live on another continent!

  8. Patricia Says:

    Friar,
    Yep you would have to import food in and fill up your freezer during harvest season….BC is working a great deal with hydroponic gardening and then there are “cold frames” for year round salad…

    That chocolate issue is truly a big one for me too….and Olive Oil is a must on my list ….I just work at doing the best I can…

    But then again you have wonderful fish in your ponds….how about I bring the strawberries and chocolate?

  9. Jannie Funster Says:

    Ah, deer yes. Luckily our back yard is all fenced in.

    I am very very happy with YES! magazine. I scrolled down and lost myself in the article “10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy.” Number 11 should be read Patricia’s Wisdom Blog.

    Chocolate? Okay, I’m there.

    :)

    Jannie Funsters last blog post..$69.97

  10. Patricia Says:

    Yes!
    just gets better and better Jannie…
    Chocolate is very good

  11. Robin Says:

    Hi there Patricia – my mother and father had a very healthy veggie patch – and eating out of the garden was a very normal thing to do. I feel it makes sense to eat local produce when we can – I also try to eat seasonally (well – a bit!)

    My sister is very up-in-arms about an aspect of the ‘eat local’ movement, where people are encouraged to buy Australian rice rather than Asian rice – when we have a shortage of water here and a lot is used for agriculture (it’s a big problem because rivers are dying because of irrigation draining their water) – whereas Asia has quite a lot! Just thought I’d mention another angle. Cheers, Patricia.

    Robins last blog post..Making The Most Of Life

  12. Patricia Says:

    Robin,
    There are lots of angles and they are worth mentioning….We have a shortage of rice because farmers here are encouraged and subsidized not to grow any, so they put up McMansions and don’t farm them and get paid handsomely. Most of the beef for fast food comes from South America where they knock down the rainforest which cleans our air and grows wonderful things…and then ship it around the world for hamburgers….that is not eating locally and paying the middle man handsomely…

    We don’t grow any chocolate locally….I still have my piece on Tuesday and Thursday pm…..

    I think we would all be healthier if we ate 80% locally and then checked out how many miles our food is coming from ….water is getting to be a problem everywhere.

    Think globally and act locally. If we all just did the best we are able too, what a difference it would make