04 April 2010

Happy Easter

Yesterday I watched the movie FOOD, INC. with my family, and remembered why I am so picky about the foods I eat and the products I buy. It was a good reminder that, even though buying sustainable, organic, local, and ethical food (what the Chicks with Knives call "S.O.L.E." food) is often more expensive than choosing readily-available, factory-grown (manufactured) products, it is an important investment. It's one of the most important investments I can make - in my health, in the safety of people across the country, in the global economy, and in voicing my opinion about the society I want to live in... in the only way that really counts: purchasing power. Watching the documentary brought back all the horrific truths that I'd read about in Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation for a "Work, Consumption and Culture" seminar I took at Notre Dame. So many of the accounts in both the book and the film, also by Schlosser, made me sick to my stomach, and in fact, made my 11 and 12-year old brother and sister start to cry while we watched yesterday. It's more than about cows and chickens being treated inhumanely; it's about reclaiming the integrity of one of the most basic, and most emotionally wrought parts of being human - feeding ourselves. I highly recommend both as essential intake; you aren't an informed person these days if you don't know where your food comes from, and the fact that someone had to make a movie about the subject underlines just how far we've come from our agrarian roots. Though the problem with food in our country is so pervasive (hence the obesity epidemic), and there aren't as many affordable healthful options as there are fast-food chains, I think small changes can make a difference. Nevertheless, choosing an alternative to the standard American diet (often called the S.A.D. diet) is a daunting task; after all, many global corporations have spent billions of dollars making alternatives obsolete. Despite this opposition, many good people are working toward effecting positive changes in how we obtain food. (Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver, Mia Lehrer and Associates, the people at Forage, the Fallen Fruit guys...). Sitting in church this morning for Easter at Our Lady of Malibu, I was inspired by a banner hanging near the altar. "Turn and be a new creation", it said.

Here's one example of how I'm continuing my shift toward a more fully SOLE diet: only eating the eggs my family gets from the 6 chickens who spend their days roaming the backyard amid the flowers and vegetable garden. These chickens are well-fed and cared for, sleeping safely in a coop my mother built, and tended to daily by my sister, who's named them thus meteorologically, according to their coloring: Sunshine, Sunrise, Sunset, Summer, Snowy & Starry. Here are my photos from the eggs I decorated today for Easter! (I used the traditional egg-coloring kit from PAAS, vinegar and water... don't the colors look amazing on the brown eggs?)


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