“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” This reads the first three sentences of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. While growing up, I never really questioned what Pollan coins as the “age of nutritionism” we seem to have entered. He continues through his book outlining several points that, from his experience, readers should take into account; this includes but is not limited to eating only those things that your great-grandmother would recognize as food (oreos? Probably not!), avoiding high-fructose corn syrup, among others such as eating locally and in season.
To be sure, one of his stipulations that stuck out the most with me was “Eat slowly.” Sure, this can be taken literally, but it is more in the sense of eating deliberately and with awareness; opposing the concept of the fast life that seems to have overtaken our Western world.
A great way to slow down is to start a vegetable or herb garden–as part of my apprenticeship here I have been given the opportunity to grow a small plot of vegetables in my backyard (see my little green pepper to the right!), but you don’t need much space to do it! Along with the garden, I have a couple plants that sit on the windowsill of my bedroom, which is another option for anyone who doesn’t have space for a garden would be trying that out. Real Simple has some little pointers on creating a container garden that you can put on a windowsill here.
It does take more time to eat with intent, but I have found the process infinitely more rewarding and fun. This afternoon for instance, I took a ride on the Berry Ferry and was able to show a handful of guests where we harvest our veggies in the morning. They were so excited to see what their food looks like when it is growing! It’s always great to share the wealth of information I’ve gained here. Working on the farm is truly a form of defending food, much like Michael Pollan suggests through the very title of his book, though his defense is more from the industrialization of food and nutrition science.