Eating is an Agricultural Act
When you think about agriculture, it’s natural to focus on farmers and the role they play. In fact, some people may think that agriculture consists solely of farming activities—but the reality is that every single person influences the food system, each in unique ways.
How you do so is in your hands! Here are five issues to consider.
Make Smart Food Choices
Everyone needs to eat, and how you spend your food dollars is in fact an agricultural act. When making your purchasing decisions, it can make sense to follow the advice of food author Michael Pollan when he says the following: “Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”
Using this philosophy as a guiding light, a key step can be to avoid—or at least limit—your intake of processed foods and focus more on fresh ones. Processed foods, by their very definition, are ones that have been altered from their original state before you eat them.
One article, written for CNN by a nutritionist, shares “relatively painless ways” towards a less processed diet. For example, if you’re currently eating a significant amount of foods that are processed, you can follow a step-by-step route to incorporate more fresh foods, including delicious fruits and veggies. Drink more water and fewer beverages sweetened by sugar; add pepper or garlic to flavor foods, rather than salt; and choose whole grains rather than processed ones.
Also, read labels and “look for a list that reads more like a recipe than a pseudo-science experiment.”
People live busy lives and it may feel easier to grab processed foods. This may be especially true if you’re feeding a family. But, with a bit of pre-planning, you can incorporate healthy, fresh foods into your diet pretty easily—and here are tips on how to cook fresh vegetables in quick and delicious ways. Even small adjustments, made over time, can allow you to boost the nutrition of your family’s meals.
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” (Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto)
The Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine agrees that eating more plants is a good idea—both for people’s health and for the planet, overall. In 2019, they noted how a diet that’s more plant based could prevent 10.9 to 11.6 million premature deaths every single year, while helping to reduce challenges of climate change. When more people choose diets that are more plant based, this can help to save water, optimize how agricultural land is being used, and much more.
To help families incorporate more vegetables into their diets, the U. S. Department of Agriculture has provided recipes and meal planning tips for plant-based meals.
When you eat seasonally, you’re automatically supporting the people who are growing your food, helping them to continue to provide you with healthy, fresh produce. Seasonal foods taste better, too.
Then there’s the concept of ritucharya, an ancient practice from India that a National Institute of Health study labels as the answer to lifestyle disorders. It involves eating seasonal foods to maintain health and help prevent disease. Foods specifically listed in the ritucharya charts would correspond to growing seasons in India, but the concept remains the same, no matter where you live.
To find out more about food as medicine, here’s a panel discussion from Roots 2018 about healing yourself, one bite at a time.
Here’s one more thought before we move on. In traditional Japanese culture, they subdivided their calendars into 72 poetic mini-seasons. It’s a beautiful way to think about the world and it reflects how farmers get to experience each incremental change in nature throughout the year.
Know How Your Food is Grown
Not all crops are grown the same way—and you can make an agricultural statement of significance just by choosing fresh vegetables that are regeneratively farmed. When regenerative agricultural techniques are used, the soil is left in better shape than when the farming began—with the soil itself being considered a crop to be lovingly cultivated.
At The Chef’s Garden, we replenish our soil with vital nutrients, strategically using cover crops to regeneratively farm in harmony with Mother Nature. The result? Fresh vegetables, herbs and more that are incredibly flavorful and packed with nutrition—with healthier soil for tomorrow, and for the next generation.
Farmer’s Market Products Delivered Directly to You
Let us be your personal farmer—and your personal shopper! You can choose from a variety of home delivery boxes that are full of high quality fresh vegetables, the same produce that world class chefs use daily in their kitchens.
Caviar and Vegetable Tasting Experience
Just Add Barilla
Best of the Season
Leafy Green Mix
Summer Vegetable Mix
Summer Squash Box
Plus, you can select our farm-fresh subscription box. Order 12—and get the next one free!