Dinner Dialogue Series #3

This week, we ask you to look down at that nourishing plate of food and to savor all of its beautiful colors and textures. Are these ingredients in season where you live? Or are they available to you year-round?

Let’s zoom out and consider the following: How far did your food travel to end up on your dinner plate? How does the transport of food affect the environment?

The first thing you might notice and be proud of is whether you and your family hand picked any
of those vegetables, fruits, and herbs from your backyard garden or community plot. Maybe
even eggs that you gathered from chickens in your coop. Perhaps you visited the weekly
farmers market in your city and interacted with the person who grew your food? You were happy
to support their work by buying locally raised meat or produce. The taste of these products
definitely heightens the senses!

What about at the grocery store? Were those ripe, juicy strawberries picked in a farm in
California or Mexico? Just noticing if the produce travels within your state, your country, or from
another region altogether, is a first step in awareness about our food chain. You might think
about the energy and time it takes to transport it all to your dinner plate. And the amount of
packaging required to travel longer distances. Did you know that most produce is picked before
it’s ready (think green bananas or tomatoes) so that it can ripen over the days of transport to its
next location?

Open up the discussion about eating foods that are closer to the source and in season. What
are the benefits of choosing those strawberries during a short window of the year when they’re
at their peak in flavor? Here at Ecopiggy, we love to tend to our backyard gardens (and
chickens!) and reap the benefits of produce and eggs that come from healthy, nutrient-rich soil,
that have less negative impact to the environment. Gardening is a great joy and educational for
the kiddos!

So lets get talking, one table at a time. And if this conversation leads you to pause while grocery
shopping and make a small shift, then that’s a job well done! We are proud of you.

~Kristin Cole

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