Monday, October 6, 2008

Sitting around the dinner table...

Today was just one of those days. Totally off balance. Too much "running around." That's when I think Kermit was right, it's not easy being green. I am finding that the pace of your life plays a huge role in earth-friendly behavior. Going slow helps me to go green. The nice thing about my friend, Betty, is that she realizes that some days are like that, especially in the lives of working families with young children.

So when the kids and I sat down together at the table tonight, we finally had time to reconnect.

One way we begin that process is to take a moment's pause to show gratitude for our food. My son loves to lead this:

"Earth, who gives to us this food, Sun, who makes it ripe and good,
Dearest Earth, Dearest Sun,
We won't forget what you have done."

After we share each other's best and worst of the day, we start to talk about what we are eating. Since we've done a farm share and worked in our garden as well as friends' gardens, my kids are getting pretty good at the "Where did this come from" game.

I think this is a great way to talk about not only how food came about (the farmer planted the seed, the seed grew with good soil, sun, water, and then ripens and is ready for harvest), but also helps kids learn that food grows in all different conditions. Our potatoes and garlic came from the dirt. Our green beans came from a vine. Our rice is a grain, which had to be hulled. And we chose to eat something that was once living: a fish.

It's also fun from a nutrition standpoint. If I've learned anything from kids, they really love to learn and know the right thing to do. My four year old asked for broccoli first at the bakery the other day!

The discussion doesn't stop there, because it's very likely the food took an extended journey to us. Today I bought a small filet of farm-raised fish (aka "brain food") for the three of us, but it was not from the U.S. - an unusual purchase for us these days in our desire to lessen our "foodprint", but again today's pace played a role: I hadn't pre-planned dinner so I rushed the selection process.

My green lesson for today for myself and you all, my friends:

Dinner is a great time to reflect on food as a family and connect with where our food comes from.

Gratitude feels good and helps us tap in.

It's not about perfection, it's about practice. Today we did too much, so tomorrow we will slow down and be more mindful of our choices.


1 comment:

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

A good reminder for all of us.