Food Solidarity

Last week my bin from On The Move Organics arrived and inside was a fennel bulb. This one right here. Now, I don’t hate fennel it’s, as my beloved likes to say, just not one of my favourite things. I do the bulk of the cooking for me and my family so our menu skews to what I like and do. There was a time not too long ago I would have just thrown it into the compost pile but this time, this time I thought for a minute about how far this organic bulb had travelled to get to me. It was grown in California USA shipped to London On Canada then packed up for me and brought to my door. Tossing out perfectly good food is wasteful and, I’m starting to think, pretty damn rude and also incredibly privileged.

I mean, I have the ridiculous luxury of choosing what I eat, not many people in my community can say that. We have hungry people who come from all over town for the local church’s Saturday night hot meal and here I am being picky about the fresh food that magically arrives on my doorstep every week.

Over a year ago I decided to get my first bin of veggies delivered and at first was a bit overwhelmed that the veggies kept coming. Now I get the bigger family bin and sometimes I order two. We go through all those veggies no problem now. In fact, much of our bin goes into the dinner meal the day it arrives. This week the zucchini, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes all went into the pasta sauce along with some of the kale. NOM NOM NOM

So last week the fennel went into a layer of potatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, kale and celery that roasted under chicken topped with a jar of butter chicken sauce. I ate it, it was overall a good meal, I didn’t get excited biting into kale but it was fine.

It dawned on me that by ordering a fixed bin, by eating local in season when I can, I’m exercising a TINY bit of food solidarity with people who have no choice in what comes next. I pay more for my organic produce so that the local food system is sustainable. By investing a bit more, because I can, I can help grow food sovereignty. This choice to spend more means great jobs growing, distributing and cooking great food are available to people in my community. I can’t grow all of my own food. Sure I tinker at it because I the luxery of failure, so I’m not forced to eat in season but I want to shift more to that. Going with a place that has set bins is one way to give up some privilege, a tiny amount really, to eat what’s in season or available, like most people around the world do.

Food solidarity for me is recognising our food system is broken and we all have a part to play. I’m growing my part by volunteering in the community on The Carolinian Food Forest, growing some of my own food and ordering local, organic food when I can afford to. I can’t always and that’s ok too. so when I can afford it, It honour that opportunity and the fennel, well, the fennel tasted a lot sweeter for it,

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