We started this fall's Growing Green program with an activity called Picasso Portraits led by Ismet Mamnoon. Each person had to draw a portrait of the person across from them but, you could not look at your paper and you couldn't lift up your pen!
All the rain we've had this fall has helped our garden recover from such a dry summer. There has been so much lush, green growth throughout the month of September, and so many fruits! Tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers and hot peppers have all been abundant.
There is one large pumpkin slowly ripening. Every time we visit the garden we hope it is still there, and not smashed (which was the fate of last years' pumpkins). It is big enough to be a jack-o-lantern!
After today, a lot has changed about the way I feel about my food.
Since the 'Meet your farmer’ activity with Danielle, I definitely feel more confident about how to tell where my food comes from. Now I know that I can look at the packaging to see not only the nutrition facts, but also where the food was sources, and this information will help me to make more morally conscious decisions about what I am eating.
Danielle also taught us about the different terminology that describes certain foods. I learned the Halal meat describes meat from animals that leaved long, healthy lives, and were slaughtered humanly. Furthermore, kosher produces are healthy, regulated Jewish products that must follow strict guidelines. These were terms that I didn’t know before.
As a group, we discussed why certain people don’t eat specific foods for various reasons. For instance, some faiths don’t allow port to be eaten. More over, many people are vegetarian in rejection of animal cruelty. Along with these are so many more small, individual house rules that govern what and what not is eaten in every family.
Lastly, we did a group activity, in which I learned what kind of questions I should be asking to food producers about their products. Danielle stated: the consumer has all the power when it comes to what they buy.
~ Peter R
I have learned that the food system is much more complicated than I originally knew. I understood that there were food inequalities, but I was not aware of the mass scale that it effects people in their daily lives. I have learned about food deserts, and how MAP and community gardens are trying to change this, and bring produce and healthy foods to these areas.
Questions I ask food producers are:
Are your products organically grown?
Are they sustainably farmer?
Are you certified organic?
Where is your farm located?
Do you feel farm shares?
What do you grow on your farm in terms of produce?
I want to know what they do to the food and I don’t want to assume something that might not be true. ~Marie
I have learned lots of things about food and farmers markets. I learned what MSG is and what it does to your body. I learned how and what to ask to see what sort of pest management farmers use, and how often, or in what circumstances they are used. I would also like to ask how much time goes by between the produce being picked and the produce being sold. I also what to learn more about the treatment of animals because and during slaughter. ~Soleigh
How I think about food changed because I want to know what process the food went through before getting to me. For instance, was it sprayed with insecticide? Is it organically grown? What was added to it before getting to me? I would like to know if it is affordable for me, and mostly, was my meat processed Halal or not? ~Sophia
After today, me eating healthier, looking and asking for more healthy food has changed. Now I know what to ask when going to a farmers market. There are some questions that I would ask a food producer. Where do you foods come from? Is is organically grown? Is it fresh? are you spraying any chemicals on the food? Do you take food stamps, or have any deals? ~Delilah