Upon first reading Andrea's Local 30 idea, I was intrigued, but, it was these lines that sold me:
"It occurred to me that the three pillars that I care most about with food go something like this - wellness (is it good for my body?), sustainability (is it good for the planet?) and community (is it good for other people?). These three things become harder and harder to evaluate the farther away something is coming from. I began to wander whether there is a way to bring the elements of that triple bottom line together through eating local food."
This idea is something that I have been thinking more about lately - there's less rain, less disposable funds, less security than before....how will I continue to keep myself, my family, my community and my environment healthy with less?
I need to be better at creating meals with what is here on our land, items preserved from previous harvests, things I can trade others in the community for, as well as learning not to waste ANYTHING. I have been working toward this for some time, but I feel things are now critical and I must make those last, hard-to-swallow changes......
Also, I want to remove myself (and my money) from Big Food, Big Pharma and Big Ag. These industries aren't really concerned with our wellbeing, they are concerned with their bottom line. They are companies out to make a profit, a bigger profit than last quarter. We have been fooled into thinking these corporations care about us as individuals, but they actually don't want us to get 'better' because then we would stop buying their products.
As a type 1 diabetic I'll never be able to entire remove myself from Big Pharma as I must take insulin daily to live, but I no longer use other allopathic medications like pain meds. There are much better alternatives to over-the-counter medications.....for pain grate fresh ginger and turmeric in a Thermos, add hot water and steep for a while - the longer the better - sip off this tea throughout the day to manage pain. There are alternatives to the quick fixes we seek because we are in too much of a hurry to properly deal with the root cause of the problem; things such as proper nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, movement, mindfulness/meditation, a sense of purpose and belonging.
Over the past few years I have been unplugging from the Big Food, Big Ag, Big Pharma triad to build a new paradigm for myself - one built on local products, real food, traditional knowledge and a 'slow' approach. I no longer buy shampoo, toothpaste, laundry soap, face cream.....I now make them. There's something very liberating about having and employing these skills, there's such freedom that comes with having the self-efficacy to create things for yourself instead of being beholden to a corporation to provide your needs.
Items that you purchase at the grocery store were all originally produced by someone - hair car products, washing up soap, yogurt, dog food, etc, etc - they weren't invented by Woolworths or Albertsons. You can make all these things at home, simply and cheaply.
So now that I only purchase the raw materials to produce homemade personal-care products and cleaning products, the meat we eat is either locally raised or wild, veggies and fruits are produced on our property or nearby, what more could I do to better provide for my family, benefit my community and protect the planet?
I need to focus more on producing enough food year-round and preserving food better. If I plan to cook food each week I need to be planting, harvesting and preserving each week. I need to be better at having enough in the garden at all times to harvest - some for now and some for preserving.
Focusing on the staples (carrots, potatoes, onions) as well as the high-value foods (raspberries), having a medicinal herb garden, putting in more beds, being on top of pests and soil nutrition, always sowing seeds and preserving more....these are the things I need to be better at. So, this year I'm making a concerted effort.
I'm trying to set aside more time to organise and plan better, instead of being so ad hoc about it all - monthly planting reminders have become quite helpful; I'm always looking for new ways to use any excess; having conversations with my family and friends about how we can do things together and better; and, most importantly, coming to terms with this slow-paced life...learning how to deal with the 'wants' versus the 'needs' and accepting what IS, accepting our life AS IT IS, not feeling like we need our life to Be or LOOK like other's.
So I'm using The Local Thirty to spur myself on and to keep myself in check so to speak.....I'll let you know how it goes. N x