What Do You Know About Your Food?

Jun 12, 2017

I remember standing in the dark damp basement of our old farmhouse. My mother would send me down at supper time to bring up a jar of green beans.

My eyes scanned the glass jars along the old weathered wood shelves. There were jars of corn, tomatoes, beets, homemade ketchup, and pickles. I spotted the green beans packed in tight with strips of bacon -- bacon from one of our hogs raised on the farm.

One of my other chores was to gather eggs. I always entered the chicken coop with trepidation, hoping not to have an encounter with a hen determined to guard her egg.

As an adult teaching eighth graders. I learned they often thought their food came from “The Store.”

“Yes, but before the store.” I would say.  

“The factory.” Would be the next response.

Many did not know their potato chips actually started as potatoes in the ground.

“Ewee. They come from dirt?”

We live at a time when the majority of our food travels more than 1,200 miles before it reaches our plates. Much different from when we grew it in our garden, less than 1,200 feet from our back door.

It took time, hard work, and handed-down skills to raise and eat our own food. We knew our food from the day it was a seed. We watered and watched it grow, and then we were rewarded with great-tasting freshness that was high in nutrition.

We will all be better off if we know where our food comes from.

I’m Dan Kenney, and that’s my perspective.