You are what you eat. We have all heard it. But you know what? It’s true. The human body is a complex and beautiful piece of machinery. Trillions of atoms, making up trillions of cells every day reproducing and working towards one common goal: the function of the human body. We all understand this basic concept and how it is fueled, but I think it can easily be taken for granted. Put something in your mouth, chew it, and then poof, it is gone. Our miraculous system breaks down that food to a molecular level and distributes it throughout our body, fuel for this, medicine for that, storage for later. A simple concept, yet an extremely complicated process.
So why does this mean food matters?
Well I for one can appreciate the fleeting, somewhat tantalizing taste of a Twinkie for oh maybe 30 seconds. But once you stop and think about that Twinkie, which is about as far from whole food as you can get, breaking down in your system, being distributed and delivered to various organs, muscles and glands for use, you might not want that packaged, over-produced food-porn to enter your body at all. You might just maybe stop and think “hey, I deserve better. I am a system of complex organs and trillions of cells, I want to be strong, I deserve a functioning immune system, I want to taste real food again, that’s it. I quit!”
I can appreciate junk food as an occasional part of my diet. I can definitely dig in on a doughnut, chow down some cookies, and fight over the pint of ice cream. But you know what I think we all could use a little more of? The appreciation of real food. Reintroduction to the kitchen. Remembrance of farm fresh milk and eggs. A re-acquaintance with the divine pleasure of a healthy whole-foods-based diet. And, the empowerment of community-supplied, local food chains. We can grow a healthier community through food. Local artisan food producers are like artists. They master the art of baking a loaf of bread, or creating the perfect cheese, or producing the highest quality grass-fed beef steaks. A farmer who puts their heart and soul into their work means that we as customers are eating food prepared with heart and soul, food of the highest quality. High quality food also satiates more than just our ideals, it is more nourishing and can help us stop overeating and start paying more heed to the value of each bite and each meal. Local food is produced by our neighbors. It actually creates and grows jobs. It helps incubate beginning farm enterprises. Local food is food security, job security, and economic security for the communities that feed these systems through consumer purchases and entrepreneurial ambitions. I love local food production and I believe that we as a community can become what we eat through local foods: healthier, more secure, and vibrant. : Angie McGinness