For my part, I've been slow to learn about issues related to food justice, agriculture and sustainability. But through my friendships with people like Jonathan McRay and reading some Wendell Berry I've begun to take note.
A part of my slowness is that when you start talking about food you start talking about how your family shops, cooks and eats food. And when you aren't the person shopping and cooking you don't want to start throwing around your opinions. I tend to keep my radical ideas to myself, insulating my family, protecting them from myself.
Not, to reiterate, that I had any big or radical ideas on this subject. As I said, I've been pretty uninformed about all this.
But Jana recently read the book Eat With Joy and it's allowed us to talk through some of these things that many of you are experts in, in both knowledge and in lifestyle. What Jana liked about Eat With Joy was that in addition to talking about the big picture and big changes one could make the book also offered smaller, entry-level recommendations.
And one of those recommendations was going to your local Farmer's Market and having one meal a week with food grown by local farmers.
So last week Jana went to our local Farmer's Market. It was on a Tuesday so there were only eight vendors there. Saturday is the bigger day. Jana decided to visit each vendor, to talk everyone and buy something from each.
Jana, my extroverted wife, had a blast visiting, learning and making new friends. Jana always makes new friends. She's sort of amazing like that.
Jana came home with ground beef from cattle that ate grass and roamed freely on a farm. She bought squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, and tomatoes.
She handed her cash directly to the farmers.
And then she came home and cooked us a delicious meal.
And during the meal she told the boys and I about everyone she had met and about the farms where our food had come from. The boys were impressed that Mom knew the lady who picked those tomatoes directly off the vine.
And so Creation groaned a little bit less that night around the Beck dinner table.
This is such a small thing. A tiny little baby step. One locally grown meal a week at your house. So I write this not to pat the Becks on the back as so many of you are so much further down the road on this journey than we are.
And yet, there are also many of you who are just starting out, like the Becks are, or are waiting to make the first move. I'm writing this for you. To encourage you to make a start and to say that making a start doesn't have to be overwhelming.
It's as simple as going to your local farmer's market once a week and then enjoying the food grown by your new friends.