Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Food for thought

"So what if some of my store-bought 'fresh' produce was picked 7 days ago and then trucked over 1,000 miles to be sorted and distributed and stored and finally put out on display? Food loses its ability to nourish my body every hour after it leaves the soil. How do I feel about the possible 151 hours during which the food that I am eating has been losing its value?" - Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet

I just started reading Growing at the Speed of Life by Graham Kerr. I grew up watching his show, The Galloping Gourmet, with my mom. He was funny and made cooking food look like fun but even then, I didn't really try cooking until I was on my own. Even then, like most people, I relied heavily on pre-prepared and processed foods. As I've struggled with my weight and exercise over the past couple of decades, I now know that a lot of my struggle comes from that struggle all of us have of convenience vs quality of food.

Kerr's quote is about how he began thinking in terms of starting his own garden. Like me, he never met a plant he couldn't kill. Last year I chose to start getting past that point. I planted some tomatoes, peppers, herbs, strawberries and a raspberry bush. Most everything survived. The peppers never really did more than survive as little plants, the chipmunks feasted on my strawberries and I shared the tomatoes with the squirrels.

But Kerr also got me thinking. I've been thinking about how to reimagine cooking for my dad as he now faces a renal diet again. I've been thinking of how to reinvent cooking for me as I step up to the plate. Between Jamie Oliver's show Jamie at Home, where he spends a lot of time in his garden, Growing at the Speed of Life and a book I picked up last year called Square Foot Gardening, I'm getting ready to tackle round two of gardening this coming season.

It goes hand and hand with starting over yet again with my running. Walking for 15 today will happen on the hills, food planning started with reading. Perhaps it's that 5 minutes I've been taking in the morning to just listen - who knows. I do know that I'm hoping to have something going here as the sun starts to shine and the air starts to warm.

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