One of the things I like best about shopping in the produce section of our local organic food store is that there are no visual assaults. No packages with lists of ingredients, no health claims, no plastic signs helping me make my decisions based on someone else’s profit motive. The only messages are little paper signs telling me how many miles it took to bring each item to market. Bin after bin, red, orange, green, the vegetables and fruits are perfectly fresh if not perfectly formed. No buckets of golf ball perfect plums or tennis ball oranges, no waxed, flawless, tasteless (sprayed) Frankenapples. Real food.
Sometimes I leave Suppers and go straight to the health food store to reinforce what I learned at lunch by preparing my family’s dinner. For too long, I was an uncreative, uninspired, reluctant cook. No wonder my kids and husband went for the packaged stuff, it was the only food in the house that had any flavor.
No more. At my Suppers meeting, the emphasis is more on learning to make healthy, delicious food and less on the aspect of the program related to reversing diseases. We focus on prevention, rejoicing in natural foods, and building a community around mutual interest in good food. What’s been most liberating for me is feeling empowered to experiment with flavor and learn from cooks and chefs who donate their time to teach at Suppers meetings.
Removing the profit motive and keeping the focus on educational messages has made it possible for many of us to participate who otherwise could not afford to learn how to prepare beautiful healthy food. The Suppers culture of experimentation has freed me to create. I have a new toolbox at home, and I got all the tools from the local whole food store.
So many of my family’s basic human needs are taken care of simultaneously as I do all the little things it takes to gather us around a table of colorful food.