On Friday, October 28, Alice Rolls, the Executive Director of Georgia Organics, stepped onto one of the many stages at the Woodruff Arts Center to deliver an address about Transparency in front of over 400 young professionals and creative thinkers for Creative Morning Atlanta’s monthly event.
Naturally, Rolls focused largely on food. After taking the audience on a journey through her life–with details about the beautiful paradise in her backyard growing up, Rachel Carson’s impact on her life, and the most feared science teacher in school–Rolls unveiled hidden truths about the food system, asking how many people could name one pesticide commonly used on food they eat (none could), pointing out how much effort it actually takes for the broccoli you just overcooked to get to your table (a LOT), and, ultimately, why she never gets invited to dinner.
Transfixed by Rolls, the audience had numerous questions, and many stayed after to talk in more detail at the Georgia Organics table set up in the lobby.
Recognizing the effort to connect to the Good Food movement, Rolls prepared a top ten list of ways the creative community can take direct action to increase transparency in the food system, support those making fresh, local food available, and rediscover the joy of food in the process.
ALICE’S 10 RULES IN FINDING FOOD JOY
Eating is a joyful journey when you become part of the good food movement and channel your every day food decisions to support your health and food that benefits people, the planet and profits for local, organic farms.
1) READ Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma to get your baseline food system education and repeat his mantra “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
2) SHARPEN your knife skills by taking a class. Typing and knife skills are the two most important classes I’ve ever taken because I use those skills every day. Being a pro with your knife will inspire you to get in the kitchen and cook.
3) FRIEND a farmer. Get to know one organic farmer who will know you by your name. Visit their produce stand regularly or volunteer on their farm. Their passion for health, the planet and community will inspire and empower you to redesign your food choices.
4) INVEST 25 percent of your food dollars to support organic farms locally and globally. Keep the “Dirty Dozen/Clean 15” card in your wallet to reduce your chemical load and vote with your fork for better agriculture
5) SHOP smart by eating real food that doesn’t have an ingredient list or an advertising budget. Processed foods can hijack your food budget. If you don’t stray far from the produce and bulk foods (or your kitchen), then organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains can become affordable.
6) LEARN to sauté. This basic skill will allow you to whip up affordable, healthy and delicious one-dish meals. Sauteed vegetables and meat can be topped on whole grains in a pinch and are completely satisfying.
7) LONG for seasons. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Eating seasonally gets you in touch with the freshest produce and the seasons. Eating tomatoes in the winter, unless preserved or frozen, means your food took a long road trip.
8) DISCOVER your place in the food web. Spend at least one solid hour per week outside immersed in nature and appreciate the fact that we all live downstream.
9) SEAT yourself at a table for all meals. Share your table with friends, family and strangers and savor the bounty and tastes from local farms and kitchens.
10) CONNECT with the people and farmers shifting our food from a commodity to a community-centric approach. Take a class, attend an event or become a member of Georgia Organics and other good food organizations committed to people, profits AND the planet.