So if buying simple food was easy folks would do it all the time, right? Maybe not: Let’s think about what ‘simple food’ really is and consider some tips.
Tip #1 Eat as far down the food chain as possible. Avoid products which are highly processed. Read the list of ingredients and if the list looks like a high school chemistry experiment, look further.
Tip #2 Obviously include in your diet lots of vegetables and fruit, harvested locally where possible. Ideal sources are local markets, now hugely popular in North America.
Tip #3 Try to avoid ‘the foodies.’ An obsession with technique here in North America means that many distributors cater to an affluent consumer who wants all ingredients to possess special qualities other than nutrition. While this may mean organic and local sourcing, it does not guarantee it. Think ‘simple’ and do your homework.
Tip #4 Ask the kids, especially young adults, for if your kids are like my kids, they are much more aware of different styles of eating than I have ever been.
Tip #5 Plan, plan, plan. It’s funny how ‘simple’ involves planning. Food, with other environmentally transformative practices means getting organized.
Final Tip Plant a garden where you live. Start simply and increase the size and complexity of your ‘farm’ each year.
Finally, a thought from Wendell Berry.
The pleasure of eating should be an extensive pleasure, not that of the mere gourmet. People who know the garden in which their vegetables have grown and know that the garden is healthy and remember the beauty of the growing plants, perhaps in the dewy first light of morning when gardens are at their best. Such a memory involves itself with the food and is one of the pleasures of eating. The knowledge of the good health of the garden relieves and frees and comforts the eater. The same goes for eating meat. The thought of the good pasture and of the calf contentedly grazing flavors the steak. Some, I know, will think of it as bloodthirsty or worse to eat a fellow creature you have known all its life. On the contrary, I think it means that you eat with understanding and with gratitude. A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one’s accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes. The pleasure of eating, then, may be the best available standard of our health. And this pleasure, I think, is pretty fully available to the urban consumer who will make the necessary effort.
The full quote (well worth a careful study) is at http://www.ecoliteracy.org/essays/pleasures-eating
Bon appetit, Ken Gray