Wednesday, June 5, 2013

But why?

It's the question that gets asked so often during ELC, usually when you say, "I can't eat that." Some people just don't get it. Why on earth would you want to limit yourself like that? I also get the, oh yeah, you did that last year. Cool experiment/learning experience...why are you doing it again?

One of the biggest reasons I do the eat local challenge every year is to remind myself to really think about the kind of food I'm eating. Where does it come from? Who grew it--what's their life like? Where did this animal come from--what's its life like? As a society we get so complacent and disconnected just picking stuff off the shelf without really thinking about what we are putting into our bodies. We are so wasteful without really thinking about the energy, resources and time that went into growing/producing food. I'm guilty of it too. And each year I do the challenge, I remember how much fun it is--but its also a lot of work. Why do we grab the crap off the shelf we know is bad for us? Convenience and cost. Even as someone who cringes at the thought of what that chicken's life was like, I still find myself at popeyes shamlessly craving that fried deliciousness. ELC is a chance to remind myself: you don't really want to do that.

It's also a time for me to appreciate the wonderful abundance we have in New Orleans. To really connect more with my community and its surroundings. Especially as far as big cities go, New Orleanians really take pride in their neighborhoods and sense of community and supporting local businesses. It's something you don't really see as much in places like Atlanta or Houston--especially not on the scale you do here. We all know, as a city, we have problems--lots of them. But that doesn't mean we can't appreciate what we do have. Its why we love where we live even despite the crime and the hurricanes and the oil spills and whatever disasters we face. ELC just really emphasizes to me  another reason why we're awesome.

I'm sure some of my facebook friends are already over my constant stream of food pix and posts. But its something I share in the hope that my posts inspire someone else to start asking the right questions about their food this little kid:

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