October is the second annual food literacy month here in Hamilton.
But what does that really mean?
When I think about food literacy, I ask where the food in my kitchen came from? Did I grow it myself, or did I meet the person or farmer that did? If not, do I know how it was grown, where, and how it was brought to sale? If it is fresh food, then how or will it be preserved? If it is processed, then what are the ingredients on the label? Do I know how to make a nutritious meal when I am in a rush? Do I know how to access nutritious food, know who to trust, and where to scout out the most affordable healthy options?
These questions may resonate with you, or perhaps they may not. Do they matter? They matter to me! However, that being said, I am a holistic nutritionist, so my belief in the importance of nourishing food may seem excessive or unreasonable to others.
The degree of nourishment we bring to our body on a regular basis determines our energy levels, mood balance and overall health. That is why these questions are so important, and why to some degree they cross all of our minds.
The degree of nourishment we bring to our body on a regular basis determines our energy levels.
If you took a tally of all the ingredients you ingested today through your meals and topically through your skin, do you think that you got everything that you needed? It is an important fact to know that plants and animals receive their vital nourishment from the soil in which they grow and from the foods that they eat—we are included in that reality! For example: How nourished was the soil in which your food grew? How well treated were the animals from which you received your animal products? What about the waste? How far did it travel? How many unnecessary fillers, preservatives and rancid ingredients were there? How much of that was fresh from the Earth, versus a factory, conveyor belt or lab?
All of these concepts and the degree to which we understand them can be considered “food literacy”. The power to improve your food literacy lies within you. Are you on your way to achieve your optimal health? How is your food literacy?