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The Power and Beauty of Shared Food

January 2007

Food is a right, a responsibility, a gift, a life, a mystery, a puzzle of unequal distribution of resources which must be solved right now. When I think of food, all these diverse images come to mind:

Food is . . .

  • a healthy pregnant mother.
  • a treasured baby at its mother’s breast
  • the sun blessing a newly sprouting field of wheat.
  • a cookie at Grandma’s house.
  • biting into a fresh peach and juice running down your chin.
  • poring over seed catalogues during a January blizzard.
  • planting a garden with a bunch of children.
  • setting out tiny seedlings and imagining the glorious, productive plants they will become.
  •  fuzzy baby chicks, ducks and geese.
  • gathering newly laid eggs.
  • eating the first apple off the tree.
  • digging up a carrot, wiping the dirt on your pant leg and eating it right in the garden.
  • putting more berries in your mouth than in your basket.
  • rain after a long dry spell.
  • Thanksgiving dinner with four generations of family present.
  • a potluck picnic with the neighbors.
  • hoeing a bean field in 100 degree weather.
  • feeding the soil so it feeds me in return.

I want people everywhere to be able to grow, gather, hunt, fish, harvest, enjoy and share food the way I am blessed to do. The only way I know how to do this is to share resources locally so that by using less and sharing resources, other families will have more.

Dena is a Board Member of the National Family Farm Coalition
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