This post is part of my series, “Kickin’ It Old Skool: Why and How We Are Old-Fashioned” or KIOS for short. If you’re new to the series, please read my disclaimer before continuing on. I’m keeping a table of contents to this series here so you can see what I’ve already written about and what more there is to come.
I’m repeating a bit here from my intro post but it applies so in case you missed it last time, here it is again:
Four years ago, I read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. When I finished the book, I put it down, looked at Nik, and said:
“Nik, we’re not buying a tomato in the winter ever again.”
To his credit, he didn’t get angry or say I was crazy. He just said, “OK?” and waited for an explanation.
Having just read an amazing, life-changing book, I really struggled to put into words what I was feeling.
It basically came down to wanting to be connected to what we ate in a responsible, ethical manner; wanting to know where my food came from; wanting to appreciate the changing of the seasons with the changes on our plate; wanting to honor God with what we ate as well as what we did.
And so, since January (maybe February?) of 2008, we haven’t bought a tomato in the winter. We haven’t bought much fresh food at all in the winter since then.
Instead, we’ve devoted many hours every spring, summer, and fall to preserving food to eat through the winter and spring. We’ve taken time to learn how to make much of what we used to buy at the store (like pickles, bread, pasta, bagels, and jam). We stopped eating out except for the very rare occasion. We’ve developed relationships with local farms and now buy almost all of our vegetables, fruit, meat, and dairy locally. We are often able to sit down at a meal and specifically thank God for several different people who helped raise/grow the food we’re eating.
We are so blessed by what we eat, how we eat, and when we eat.
We eat asparagus in the spring, fresh peaches in July, sweet corn all summer, tomatoes from our garden from July through October, lettuce in the spring and the fall. Our food has a seasonal rhythm to it. We eagerly anticipate the changing of the seasons and the delicious food that awaits us.
Yes, we spend more time on food than probably most people do. But then again, we don’t watch TV so we have plenty of time to spend on food! We probably don’t spend much more on food than most people do because we consciously eat less meat, we hardly ever eat out, and we don’t buy any (well hardly any) multi-ingredient processed food.
In short, we’ve completely overhauled the way we eat and we love it.
I’m going to spend the next few weeks writing about the whys and the hows of eating this way. We’ve learned a lot in four years and I’m happy to share what I know. Even if you don’t have the time, energy, access to farms, or resources to make all the changes we’ve made, I know everyone can take steps towards a more sustainable, ethical way of eating.
We still have plenty of changes we can make ourselves so join with us as I write about them!
The books that opened our eyes and transformed the way we eat:
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (the most practical, “how-to” of the three books)