As mentioned in Reading Non-Fiction, my goal is to share what motivated me to read the books and some thoughts that came from said reading.
This was a fun read for several reasons, but I mostly enjoyed it because we live in the same city as the authors and it made me feel very connected to the story being shared. Since reading the book, I have been encouraged to check out local mentions, like the UBC Farm, and pleasantly surprised at some items that are found locally (e.g. honey). Eating locally seems easy for some items that I like (especially fruit because of our closeness to the Okanagan!) and challenging for others. Community gardens are something I’ve never tried, but it makes me happy that the City of Vancouver supports growing local produce. I have tried urban gardening for the past 3 years with some success and plan to continue.
Eating in season and food preservation are other big themes in the book. I was trying to do these before reading the book, but I’ve found that they need to be well coordinated. Otherwise, I get tired of eating the same things all winter! Expanding my tool kit from making jam and freezing fruit to canning and/or drying would probably go a long way to helping me eat more in season over the winter months.
I really appreciated the transparency of the authors on how challenging this journey was for them. It really does take a lot of effort to connect with your food. We have become lazy about it. This may be especially true if you live in a city or suburb because you a) can’t afford much space or b) want a lawn instead of using the space to grow food. It is also easy just to go to the grocery store (there are 5 grocery stores within a 10 minute walk of where I live) and buy any type of food from wherever. And sometimes, it is just more convenient to pick a restaurant and order up your heart’s desire or call and have pizza delivered to your door. (Note: I am not saying I don’t do these things on occasion, but if that’s your normal, it is no wonder people take for granted the effort it takes to produce food, preserve it, or cook it!). I think until you’ve tried gardening, preserving food, and/or cooking it yourself, you really can’t begin to connect with your food.
So, to anyone who has an interest in discovering more about local eating, whether it be eating in season or food production, I would say give this book a read. It might just inspire you to find out what is locally available in your area, plant some herbs in a pot on your balcony, make some jam with those blueberries this summer to enjoy over Christmas, or just dust off a cook book instead of ordering out.