I don’t usually do this. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I made a New Year’s resolution. But I picked up a card at Chez Panisse last week because it seemed a sort of road map for my own food journey. It’s a promotional piece for Alice Waters’ new book, The Art of Simple Food, and it serves as a perfect statement for my hopes and aspirations for the new year. It states:
“Eat locally and sustainably.
Shop at farmers’ markets.
Plant a garden.
Conserve, compost, and recycle.
Remember food is precious.”
Of course, it’s easy to resolve to eat seasonally and shop regularly at farmers’ markets in California. Not so easy here in Maine. I’ve no doubt it could be done, but the effort would seem too much like the Calvinist/Yankee macrobiotic diet I grew up with (and am still working through in therapy). There may be salvation in suffering through five months of root vegetables and whole grains, but I’m simply not that holy (or masochistic, which may amount to the same thing). But I will try, and try harder.
And I would modify the last line a bit. Instead I would simply say “Remember food.” Remember where your food comes from; who grew it and how. Think about whose hands have cared for, carried and crafted your food – from the farm to the market to the table. Honor the lives of the plants and animals you eat by cooking them perfectly and by limiting waste. Make memorable meals and share them.
These are my resolutions.