By: Brittany Barton for Change Food
November 18, 2015
Family and friends are gathered around the table, ready to indulge in the Thanksgiving feast. The turkey is looking especially plump this year, and pies with intricate lattice-work line the dessert buffet. Vegetables are present too, although many are hiding in creamy casseroles. Thanksgiving is pinned as the ultimate food holiday, where we celebrate a bountiful harvest and eat one too many slices of pie. Since we are celebrating food, it is the perfect time to consider the effects our meal is having on our environment. What is the real cost of your Thanksgiving meal?
This Thanksgiving, have a meal that positively impacts the good food movement. We have an overwhelming number of choices in today’s food market and it’s the choice you make that will either make or break a healthy food system.
TEDxManhattan speaker Stefanie Sacks says, “Start to question the foods you choose for you and your loved ones.” Green bean casserole is a good example. This dish is traditionally made with canned green beans and canned soup. These two products are shipped hundreds or thousands of miles, made from non-organic sources and sealed in a BPA-lined can; translating to carbon pollution, pesticides and health risks associated from BPA.
Thanksgiving table photo by David Trainer courtesy of flickr
August 22nd is National Eat a Peach Day. Each day of the calendar year is increasingly being used to celebrate or to bring awareness to a variety of things: like Earth Day for major environmental issues, and World Breastfeeding Week for a critical international women’s right. In the food world, each day has also been selected for a food product; sometimes, even not-the-healthiest treats have their day. Today, healthful peaches are the stars.
At Change Food, peaches remind us of Nikiko Masumoto, a beginning, Asian-American peach farmer from the Central Valley of California. In March of 2015, she was a speaker at TEDxManhattan with her talk “Reigniting the Soul of Farming”. On stage, Nikiko delivered a powerful and inspiring account of her life as a farmer. In less than 15 minutes, she was able to transport viewers to her family’s famous farm, the Masumoto Family Farm, and inspire all her listeners to “remake our food system”. After watching her talk, it is impossible to eat a peach without appreciating not only the fruit’s juicy, sweet taste, but also the dedicated labor that farmers like her put in year-round to harvest and deliver healthy, flavorful peaches in the summer.
Like most farmers in the Central Valley, Nikiko and her family are facing the challenge of growing produce in the face of a prolonged drought, and historically warmer temperatures. To help conserve water, the Masumotos decided to cut down on the irrigation of their peach orchards. The result so far has been both a blessing and a struggle: smaller peaches that are more flavorful.