I took some time this evening to review the Berry book (p. 232), with the list of items that relate to eating better and smarter, recognizing sustainable food systems. At the beginning of the term, this list all seemed doable and was only something that I had begun to touch now. Now, it is action and I am a participating consumer of sustainable, organic, and local food systems. Not totally, but much of these, with just some thought over the last seven weeks, has happened, or will happen soon. This all became about because of the change to be informative and knowledgeable, the biggest change I think I could've met.
Participating in food production - from growing potted herbs to cultivating my own plot of land for my own gardening through the city planned community garden. In addition, to the things I can't grow, co-ops and natural food markets for as local as it can get, or organic. Finally, directing my additional produce expenses at the farmer's market during the summer.
Prepare you own food - even more! I already prepare many of the meals that I make but it is much more satisfying buying items and making meals that are good for me, wholesome and taste delicious.
Learn the origins of food - from buying products because they "just looked good", to cautiously reading labels, staying away from hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup as much as possible. Finally, making conscious choices about where I eat out -asking do I know what's in this? Is it local, organic? I'll ask if I'm concerned.
As a follow up to number one...if I don't know, I ask now. Buying and making fresh is most important to me now.
Learn about the economy - a way for me to expand my Masters program. Barbara Kingsolver book and Berry began me on my exploration of being informed. Additional research for my MLS completion will be important and needed.
Best farming and gardening practices - an opportunity to practice this in my garden plot this summer! Educating my parents on using pesticides and fertilizers for their garden and encouraging others to realize the impact.
Learn as much as you can. If what I have learned over the past seven weeks is a testament to what I will learn in the future, I am ready and armed for knowledge.
The last one I added...educate others. I recognize after this class there are so so so many people out there that I have no idea about food production, chemicals, additives, pesticides, hormones and money involved. I'll continue to spread the word.