“Imagine if we had a food system that actually produced wholesome food. Imagine if it produced that food in a way that restored the land. Imagine if we could eat every meal knowing these few simple things: What it is we’re eating. Where it came from. How it found its way to our table. And what it really cost.”
– Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma
As we’ve mentioned in this video, we’re not here just to talk about the problems around agriculture and climate change. We’re here to understand what the current situation is and to come up with thoughtful solutions that can bring about real change.
Below you will find the Menu of the Week with three CLEAN food actions that you can take, starting today. One action will help you share the knowledge that you’ve gained in the past week; one act will invite you to try something new in your personal life; and the third is a powerful action that you can take individually or as a group. To get the most out of this challenge, we invite you to engage in all 3 actions and share your experiences with us on your social media!
MENU OF THE WEEK
Start a conversation: You’ve just had a week of learning and are building knowledge around CLEAN food. Just like with GOOD food last week, we hope that you want to share this knowledge with the world and gain more perspective from the people around you.
How did it go two weeks ago? Did you have good conversations with friends and family? Did you feel tension or was it inspirational? What can you learn and take forward from those conversations? Below, you’ll find more questions to ask those around you, this time about CLEAN food. Remember that the aim is not to lecture people, but to encourage an open-minded and inclusive exchange of ideas. Make it a fun talk, not a judgemental one!
- What does clean food mean to you and where could you find it, depending on where you live?
- What are fruits, vegetables, flour or pulses (beans) that are in season now where you live? Are they grown on a small-scale in your region? Do an internet search for “local flour near me” or “local farmers near me” and find out then make a plan to support those producers.
- Do you usually look for info on where your food comes from? Like how many miles it travelled to get to your plate? What do food labels tell you about the product you’ve purchased? Look for “product of…” and use the internet to find out how many miles that product had to travel from the country of origin to where you purchased it. Now search for that product in your area, is it grown there too?
By now you probably know that you are destined to be an explorer; to hunt for adventures. Here you have another act that challenges you to experiment with what is on your plate!
Make 3 changes in your consumption habits
First, open your cupboard, take out 1 ingredient at a time and ask yourself:
- How much do you know about how it was grown? Can I find that information on the labels?
- Is it an industrial or artisanal product? And where does it come from?
- Does it have a lot of unnecessary packaging? Is it wrapped in plastic?
Whatever the answers are to those questions, there’s no judgment! It can be complicated and overwhelming to make ethical choices when it comes to CLEAN food, especially when you are just starting to think about these issues. But, making one new conscious decision in regards to your food choices that becomes a habit is better for the planet than not doing so.
- Try to eat 100% local, seasonal and/or organic for a whole day! Hint: sometimes prepared foods such as jams and pickles, or fermented foods such as cheese, are the best way to go when it’s not growing season in your area. Try a cheese and cracker, charcuterie or vegan board for fun.
- This week, make your next grocery shopping trip (almost) completely plastic free by bringing your own bags (depending upon Covid regulations where you live)
- Meet your farmers! Go out and buy a variety of products from your local farmers, do a search for “farmers near me” and get familiar with them through their website or ask the managers of small businesses and grocery stores near you if they support local food producers and how. Let them know that that is important to you.
- Try and share one new “meatless” recipe!
Do you feel that you have a say in the future of food? Good, because you do! To make your voices heard, this week you can:
- Sign a petition. If you live in Europe, you can take action right away by signing the Save Bees and Farmersinitiative!! And sign up to the European Climate Pledge. Wherever you are, you can support the open letter to world leaders asking to #FacetheClimateEmergency or you can sign up the letter Withdraw the Cap.
- Write and send a letter to the ministry of agriculture or your supermarket and ask for more ambitious plans to include local, organic vendors.
Find a picture of a dish you love on the internet, post it on your stories and tag two or friends. Challenge them to make this as clean as possible. Perhaps they make the meat portion smaller or skip the meat completely. When the recipe asks for chocolate they could choose fair trade chocolate. Or maybe you picked a recipe with ingredients that are not even in season now, challenge your friends to find seasonal and local products and transform that dish in a way that it is different, but the same! When they’ve done that and proven to you with a picture or a video, ask them to challenge three other friends!
Make sure to tag @slowfoodyouthnetwork and @slowfood_international as well, so we can witness you and your friends giving you 100% of the credit.
Time to start acting on your knowledge, everyone!