My journey to becoming a fulltime freelance food writer and food blogger – a destination I will always wear with pride, dignity and regardless of any stigmas – did not start out with a passion for local sustainable food, dining out at local restaurants, cafes and other eateries, along with the whole entire local sustainable food package, as we all seek to push for more involvement in the development of local sustainable food in my country, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago.
When I started out as a freelance writer, my idea and intention was to write treatments and proposals and even scripts in drama and documentary genres for television, video and photography projects; as well as helping high school, college and university students with their white papers and articles and the general public with whatever freelance writing and editing services that they need; but then most of the young people always wanted me to help them with an agriculture paper, or write a one-page business letter to start a food business or to an agriculture organizations and other writing services, with relevant to the agriculture industry. It saddened me to hear the horrors of mainstream industrial food production and the wastage of the local food economy; as well as it also thrills me to know that there are lots of people, groups and organizations lobbying with the government to pay more homeish for the development of sustainable local food and incorporating it into our daily lives.
Food is tied to almost everything, our culture, traditions, heritage, and it is probably the only thing that can bring family, friends and even foes together, because food is soul and it literally sustains life. For without food, we will not exist.
Here are six (6) reasons why I think food is so important, and why I have come to care about it.
- Many say that gardening is a gateway drug and great for one’s health. The excitement, enjoyment, peace and positive wave of environmentalism, one gets connecting to nature and more love is shown towards a cleaner, better and sustainable Earth.
- Food Grown the Right Way are much healthier, which are those you grow yourself in your backyard garden or on your farm, free from all those chemicals and commercial fertilizers which lets most times to a weaken root system, but we still go to the grocery store and purchase packaged vegetables, than those now freshly picked from the farmer’s farm, or your own backyard garden and sold out at local farmer’s market and in the supermarket.
- Food Relates to Energy, Water and Soil are major aspects of environmentalism and it also allows us to grow great food. When thinking in terms of energy- since most of our foods are shipped from far and wide before ending up in one’s dinner plate. It takes lots of energy and so ensuring that all kinds of produce appear in the grocery store all year round. Well, we all use a lot of water to produce food, but we are also harming use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Sustainable farming enriches and builds top soil by the addition of organic matter, whereas today’s mainstream farming techniques strip the soil of its goodness.
- Food is Advocacy and Justice for which issue is best addressed with a series of questions, such as: Who has access to fresh, healthy food? Who does not? Do you believe everyone has a right to safe food from clean sources? When food becomes more industrial or political one opinion on food can actually lead to a great deal of dissension in relationships with individuals, groups, organizations and companies. Who decides which chemicals are allowed on our food and creates food policy? How does that relate to lobby and the flow of money? A lot of other questions and also who are the individuals, groups, organizations that advocate for stronger policies and campaign for local food movement.
- Food helps in creating communities whether it is starting a school garden, working in a community garden, chatting with farmer’s at the local farmer’s market, interviewing and networking with food entrepreneurs, helping a friend make jams, jellies, chutney and canning, preparing a group dinner or party for family and friends; or helping a neighbor weed her garden.
- Food Production Can Empower – For food offers a tactile, meaningful way to take control of something, whether it is to grow as much of one’s own food, as it helps preserve excess, cut down in waste, compost or even buy organically grown food at the local farmer’s market.
I know that there are million more reasons to care about local sustainable food; but those are just my main six (6) ways and reasons I feel so strongly about local sustainable food.