Healthy relations with food & farmers

Recent events made it more clear than ever that we do not seem to have healthy relations with food and the people that produce our food. In the Netherlands (and much of Europe) we have had many weeks with high temperatures and no rain. To such an extent that using water on crops was hardly possible anymore. What I found really interesting during this whole period is that in the media there was talked about “problems that the farmers had” Farmers were loosing crops or crops were loosing value. Farmer might have to stop after this harvest season due to high losses. Farmers were not able to meet the supermarket requirements. Farmers were complaining about losses and found little help it seemed.

I find it disturbing that the general public feels disconnected to farmers, disconnected to where food comes from. If the farmers have problems getting good food of the land we are all in trouble not just the farmers. I grew up in a rural society. Mostly dairy farming but none the less I got to know farmers at a young age (and in different times, the 70’s). I do not know if farmers were respected more at that time than they are now but I do think this is the case. They were most certainly not considered being ‘the bad guys’ while trying to feed the country as seems to be the case these days.

Despite all campaigns on where does your food come from, visit a farm etc. the trends of imported power food and disconnection to the origin of food is prevailing. This needs to change. We need to get a healthy relationship with life, nature, food and the farmers who work so hard to feed those of us who want to have the privilege to buy in a supermarket. Healthy food is not about eating avocado’s everyday (they come from Latin Amerika, Israel and Asia by boat). It is also not about eating sweets made with dates instead of sugar.

Healthy relationship with food is to my opinion:

  • a challenge in our current consumers-society and it takes attitude and step by step changes to keep it up;

But that aside I think a healthy relationship with food is:

  • Being connected to food in general, where does it come from and how is it produced;
  • Knowing what you eat and if it is nutritious;
  • Accepting that healthy food and eating together takes time;
  • Realising that there is hardly anything more valuable to spend time on than making food;
  • Buying local food (good luck growing your own avocado’s! mine are not taking off yet but one day….);
  • Making sure farmers get a fair price for your food by buying as close to the source as you can;
  • Meeting farmers, seeing their love for producing healthy food, learning from them;
  • Eating fresh food only when it is in season (making a study of this is fun);
  • Buying food that is not in plastic or has minimal or reusable packaging;
  • Re-using glass bottles and jars to make your own jams, chutneys, ketchup, syrup, liqueur etc;
  • Accepting that you are not a chef (unless you are) and that you are allowed to make simple food;
  • Cooking with less ingredients (google 5 ingredients or less for great ideas);
  • Getting into leftover cooking, throwing away food is a sign of stupidity (sorry but there is no kinder way to say this);
  • Thinking about the amount of waste you are buying as well;
  • Eating your heart out on avocados, pineapples and mango’s when you take a tropical vacation.

I am doing my best and try to add a new habit each month to make sure it has time to stick. Oh and don’t worry I am not someone who thinks she know’s best. Proof? I did some online shopping while writing this story and that is one habit I want to stop due to all this waste that comes with it……. But I will not give up!