Urban Eden Farm is just one farm Pantry Fuel sources from in the Spokane area. You hear all the time why it's important to eat local - but if you don't understand yet, start with this documentary. If you don't see value in supporting your local small farmers now, you will after watching this.
It's still hard to fathom that as early as 1946, about 70% of vegetables and fruit being eaten every day were from backyard gardens. When today, going to the grocery store to pick up our food is the norm for the majority of us. The trouble here, is that we do not know where the food is coming from, nor how it has been grown or produced. This might not seem like that big of a deal to most, because we've become accustomed to such a Westernized way of living - BUT, with little connection to our food - our land - and with little connection to our food, we tend to care less about what we're actually putting in our bodies as nourishment. There is a disconnect, which has lead to unintentional and mindless eating, leading our 'Westernized World' in to a pit of disease, obesity, and living in a state of sickness - we're not living or being able to experience life fully, we're ill and tired and lethargic.
You know those supplement companies that convince you you're going to lose weight just by sipping on their protein shakes and powders all day? Well, there is a lot of evidence this may be true. Many of my family and friends have relied on such products to lose and keep weight off - but are these products really magical? I think not. They are, however, great gateway products to motivate and support other healthy habits in one's lifestyle. Once you start sipping on a whey protein shake every day, replacing your bacon-sausage Mc-Something, you're going to lose weight. You're going to be less likely to grab the donuts after you've seen some progress with a new eating routine, and maybe you start adding berries or spinach to your shakes, because you're more motivated to continue on the health trajectory you started. As Sir Isaac Newton would say, "A body in motion tends to remain in motion..." Although good habits usually lead to even better ones, it's important to note that once we have internal motivation, we must continue to build off that, increasing awareness, mastery, and in this case, our connection to the food we're eating.
Going back to Urban Eden and sustainable farming. What does "Sustainable" mean? Put simply, it's the idea that a farm is utilizing natural resources that creates a process that does little to no damage to the land or animals, and the condition of the land and resources can be maintained. Here is Urban Eden's take on their farming processes, so you can get a better look as to what goes in to the food they grow:
Soil Health is one of our main concerns on Urban Eden Farm and a BIG part of successful organic farming. We practice crop rotation which improves our land, not only because it gives the soil a rest and saves it from being nutrient exhausted, but because it is one of the most basic ways of controlling insects and weeds without dangerous chemicals. The other major benefit of crop rotation is that it builds up the soil--by alternating plants that use large quantiles of nitrogen, corn for example, with legumes that actually add nitrogen to the soil, a productive balance is achieved. The same holds true for growing a green manure crop that is plowed under as part of the rotation scheme. It will build up the organic material in the soil, often at no loss of a crop, since soil should never lie bare. Planting a cover crop for the winter prevents erosion, and builds it up even further in spring when it is plowed under in preparation of planting. The health of our dirt is directly evident in the beautiful vegetables we grow! We practice sustainable farming!
We aren't asking you to go out and grow a garden, be a farmer, or live like the Amish do - we just want to continue this conversation, so that we can shed light on this idea of more primitive living, which seems to be most sustainable. Know where your food is coming from - better yet, go meet your farmer or volunteer to get hands-on experience. This is going to increase the positive feelings you have towards the foods you purchase and eat - and we guarantee you will appreciate the food more. This feeling can lead to a better connection to what you put on your plate, therefore leading to mindful eating, which has proven to a be a way people have lost weight.
Pantry Fuel supports our small farms by sourcing seasonal ingredients from them for our meals each week.