March 4(for) Green Acres Challenge

These monthly challenges are your opportunity to cultivate your own acres. They are designed to challenge your creativity, test your will power, and pull your awareness to the footstep you are leaving behind.

By participating in these challenges and sharing them with others you are spreading the message. Over time, those around us will be making better choices as well. The goal is not to change how you live your life, but rather think about the implications of those choices and tweek them for the best outcome.

MARCH CHALLENGE: FOOD ORIGIN

As a growing urban homesteader I am becoming more and more interested and involved in my food.  Growing up, I took good, wholesome food for granted because I grew up in the midwest and a lot of our food came off of our farm. Then one day I read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and I decided to make a radical change in the way I saw food.  All of a sudden it mattered where my food came from and the conditions in which that food was grown.  This month's challenge is designed to shed light on a few serious issues with our food system.

There is no longer a balance in the spectrum of consumers and producers.  On one end are the consumers that blindly believe that our food supply comes from the grocery store.  The origin stops at the shelves. On the other end are the big producers like Monsanto and CAFO's like Smithfield that are changing the food system by dominating the market and eliminating the little man.  They are changing the DNA of our food, and slowly poisoning our food system.

So the issue of food origin is two fold.  The importance of looking beyond the shelf and being choosy about who we buy our food from has become paramount.  It's not as easy as one might think.  For example, I shop at Whole Foods for many things.  I believe in their mission, they are a Texas business, and while I realize they still import produce from other countries I have the option to purchase local and in season foods.  So imagine my shock when I watched this video. 

If it's happening at Whole Foods, it's happening where you shop.

THE CHALLENGE | For the month of March, take a deeper look at where your food comes from.  Be choosy about where you shop and if you don't have many options (small town America) start by reading your labels.  Start with buying products that come from the US versus China or South America.  Whenever possible, shop local stores, farmers markets, and roadside vendors.  Start asking questions.  Don't assume that produce at a farmers market was grown locally.  Many of them buy wholesale from grocers and turn around and sell it to you. 

If you do all of this already, take it a step farther.  I already keep tabs on my meat and produce, but I don't know a lot about my basic pantry staples.  For example, I love my homemade granola which uses organic rolled oats.  Other than buying them at Whole Foods I can't tell you where those grains were grown, and if they are in fact certified organic.  Investigate the origin of everything you eat.  You might be surprised and, like me, a little shocked at what you discover.  

Please post what you find.

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Excited about the challenge and want to spread the message? Grab a 4(for) green acres project badge for your blog by using this code to let others know you're growing your own greener acres. I've added the badge to the sidebar as well.





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