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Healing through Food

We’re almost halfway through 2020 and have experienced one crisis after another: from the Coronavirus pandemic and the closures of many local food businesses to a tipping point in systemic racism and subsequent global protests. At Taste the Local Difference, we don’t pretend to be experts on racism, allyhood, economics, or epidemiology. What we do know, however, is food. And, despite the ongoing crises, we firmly believe in food’s power to unite us. Food is love. Food can heal. 

In the spirit of care for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities during these trying times, we invite you to engage with your food in a new way.

On your Own:

• Serve up some gratitude! Think about where your food came from, who brought it to your house, cooked it for you, and how you learned to cook. Consider these other opportunities for practice.

• Grow your own: Whether you only have room for a pot of basil indoors, a spot for raised beds, or a yard for a large garden, being able to add something to your meal that you grew is a powerfully satisfying experience. Plus, study after study has shown that time in the garden is both physically and mentally healing

• Pick a difficult recipe that you normally wouldn’t have time for, unplug from social media, and get cracking. Be present in your project and enjoy the process!

With your friends and family:

• Use cooking as an opportunity to explore new cultures and cuisines.
• Support local restaurants by ordering take out and enjoying a socially distant picnic
• Spread the love by swapping pickled veggies, baked goods, and new recipes
• Make cooking a shared responsibility in the home. Choose the recipe, delegate the tasks, and enjoy! 

In your community: 

• Support small food businesses — especially those run by BIPOC folks.
• Donate to local food banks and nonprofits that support food access and food sovereignty.  Some examples : Food Gatherers, Growing Hope, Keep Growing Detroit, Food Rescue NW Michigan, Feeding America West Michigan, Northwest Michigan Food Coalition and more!
• Vote for policy makers that support good urban ag policies, community health programs, food access initiatives, and protections for farmworkers.

These are just a few things we can do — but know that you don’t need to do everything. Take some deep breaths, write down your thoughts, and consider what’s in your power to do next. 

Let us know what healing actions your are incorporating into your daily life. What are you cooking? What are you reading? What are you donating to and campaigning for?

Emma Beauchamp, Communications Manager, and Kelly Wilson, the Director of Community Partners, co-wrote this piece.

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  in CoVID-19, Environment, Find Local Food