Mindful Choices About Where Your Food Comes FromDr. Miranda Wiley, ND
April 9, 2018
Asking the question of “where?” as an exploration of dietary mindfulness allows us to revisit the questions and considerations of the previous three weeks. It brings us full circle and provides an opportunity to go a little deeper into the discovery process before wrapping up a month of mealtime mindfulness!
In the first week, we looked at our food choices. Part of the decisions made in choosing which foods to eat may be explained by where those foods were grown or raised…or perhaps not. This week we invite you to explore the geography around the foods that sustain you and your family. It is also an interesting exercise to keep in mind beyond this program as the year progresses and seasons change. Cucumbers and tomatoes are more likely to be locally grown when on the veggie stands in summer and fall, but from farther shores when no longer in season. Does that affect your consumption of them?
Where Was Your Food Grown or Produced?
Reflection on food origins this week can be as low tech as a notepad in the kitchen, or as involved as a world map and a marker. When unpacking your shopping bags check the labels for the country of origin and mark it down. When pulling sauces, spices, condiments, or other items that are already on hand this week also take the time to review where they came from. Some products may surprise you and deepen your appreciation for the global village!
You may note a country of origin and a separate location for the importer. For most people engaging in this exercise of Mindful Nutrition the answer to “where did your food come from?” will not be the historical combination along the lines of “from my garden”!
Where Does the Bulk of Your Meals Come From?
Is most of your grocery shopping down at the grocery store, health food store, farmers market, or homegrown? This week, we encourage you to explore one alternative option for food acquisition just to shake up your habits and invoke curiosity.
As discussed in the third week’s exploration of “why we eat the way we do”, food acquisition has been the primary focus of human’s daily lives until quite recently. Nowadays food is abundant but time is a scarce commodity in many lives, so a range of services are stepping up to fill the need such as online grocery shopping and delivery and meal kit companies. These are both potential answers to the question of “where does your food come from?” too! If you use such companies to support your nutrition do you know where the ingredients come from? Does it matter to you? Why or why not?
“Where” may also lead to a list of restaurants, cafes, and other food suppliers close to you. Why do you support those businesses? How do you eat when out of the house vs. at home? What foods are you drawn to when eating out?
Don’t Forget to Reflect!
After four weeks of self-reflection and analysis, we hope that you found this program to be enlightening! “Knowledge is power” and knowledge about ourselves can often be the hardest type to come by! We encourage you to continue to tune in to your food choices, motivations, behaviours, and values with an open mind and an open heart to observing how it may change over time. Keep mindfulness alive through curiosity and openness. Remember, we have a helpful worksheet that you can download here and take with you where ever you go to continue your practice of mindful nutrition!