One of the major food trends of today is to grow and purchase food locally. I believe this trend is in response to a number of societal factors. One factor is today’s struggling economy and workforce. People want to stretch their food budget dollars and financially help out their struggling local farmers and the local economy. Secondly, many people have become kitchen illiterate due to cuts in foods programs in public school, the lack of food training in the home due to the time constraints of dual income or single parent families, and the increased availability of convenience and fast foods.
In response, people have gotten out of touch with their “vegetable roots” and now want to become engaged in growing and preparing food that is fresh, healthy and nutritious again. First lady, Michelle Obama’s promotion of growing vegetable gardens has helped to give this trend a national spotlight. There have been many recent books written about family’s returning to their roots and the impact it has had on their lives. One book I highly recommend is “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. It will change the way you think and eat! As we become a more eco-friendly world, eating locally also reduces the carbon footprint.
In my next few blogs, I will be highlighting some of the resources that are available to FACS teachers to educate themselves and their students regarding buying and growing local. The focus on local foods is a positive trend, but it can come with its own set of challenges.
One website that has a wonderful assortment of information and resources is Growing a Greener World. This is a show that is part of the public broadcasting system (PBS) network. The videos on the website can be used in your classroom and tackle topics on gardening, preserving food and food preparation videos using fresh ingredients from the garden. One of my personal favorites is a video titled “Urban Homesteading, Episode 204.”