Parenting

In praise of local food

What is your relationship with food — and how do you explain it to your children?

One of the things that Mr. Pinarski found most foreign about our move from the city to the farm is the kindness of our neighbours. This past fall our neighbours brought us everything from a giant carving pumpkin to a truck load of squash and zucchini.

 
Here are pictures of some of the eggs that we have been given — posted because they are just SO beautiful, especially the blue-green eggs, from a friend’s heritage Wyandottes that she breeds and raises.
 
Within two miles of our house, our farming friends grow fruit & vegetables, raise cattle, goats & chickens. I can ride my bike to pick up honey, maple syrup, milk, butter and almost anything else that our family needs to eat. So this is another surprise to Mr. P — that our food is literally in our backyard with the cattle and goats that my farming mom raises. But the true surprise is to me — Mr. P (a dedicated carnivore) could never eat anything that my mom raises. Not because of how they are raised, but because they are so well cared for and he’s been able to look them in the face (for instance, one longtime herd member will be going to market shortly which makes Mr. P quite sad). From my mom’s small herd of 13 to our neighbour’s large herd of more than 200, the animals that provide us our food are raised like family.
 
Where our food comes from is not a secret we keep from Newt, who like his dad, loves meat. When explaining where chicken breasts come from — for some people, this is grosser than explaining how babies are made –  Newt was fascinated. I explained from start to finish how we used to process our turkeys and chickens while I was growing up (so the extra bonus to Newt of mom telling him about her childhood).
 
Whether you choose organic, free-range, conventional, pesticide-free, antibiotic-free, local or sustainable, what is your relationship with the people who grow your food? How do you explain where your food comes from? And is explaining the birds and the bees easier for you than explaining chicken and honey?