While living in East Africa while my husband conducted his field work, we regularly saw animals – namely goats – slaughtered and the meat sold for dinner. What was notable about this experience to me was not the fact that we watched that as often as we did in Tanzania, but rather it was the fact that we were so removed from it here in the States. I don’t mean to suggest that this is true for everyone here in the US, but it certainly was true for me.
And it’s not just meat that seems so abstracted from it’s “raw” and natural form. The modern day grocery store is full of foods that only slightly resemble their ingredients (although their nutrient claims try their best to remind you that these foods actually DO come from real plants).
As we move headfirst into spring it seems the appropriate time to talk about one of my other long-term food goals that I have for my family: that they know where their food comes from. I don’t mean that they need to know where every cucumber and apple are grown and to have been able to shake the hand of the person that grew them, but I do want them to know that cucumbers grow on vines and apples on trees. I want them to see how potatoes are dug from the ground and to know that a hamburger is beef, which is a cow.
One of the great things about this goal is that there is so much room to grow into this learning. When we have exhausted the simpler lessons about where food comes from, we can talk about why wheat is grown in certain parts of the country and why the price of almonds has skyrockets because California is facing a severe drought. Because, of course, the answer to “where does our food comes from?” is actually very complex.
But for now, with my kids being so young, we’ll stick to some of the easier lessons and use these strategies to help them continue to become aware of what they are eating.
What ideas do you have? Share and tag them (#kizingokid #whykizingo) on your favorite social media outlet!
We adore avocados around these parts. Mashed into guac, diced onto tacos or on top of scrambled eggs, smushed into taste and sprinkled with salt ... these are the more obvious ways avocados are consumed by the arm load each week.
Avocados are a power food. They are loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber which is great for healthy digestion, contain a component that has been shown to maintain cholesterol levels, and are full of healthy unsaturated fats which help keep brain cells communicating with one another. (Avocados make a great first (or second, or third!) finger food ... if you're at that stage with your little one).
Are you making your weekend grocery list? Looking for a super easy meal to wow your weekend guests, or just get from stove to table in no time. Look no further!
The star of this recipe: beets.
Before you groan and click "back", hear me out. Beets are incredible. They may not be as accessible as the carrot, exotic as the artichoke, or beautifully curvy as the eggplant, but beets have fabulous flavor and pack a nutritional punch (they are an excellent source of folate, manganese, potassium and fiber).