I’m not bragging, but there are a lot of cool things about my job as the NE Local Food Coordinator with Taste the Local Difference. I get to hang out with other local farmers, producers, and small business owners; I get to eat the food they’ve grown or created; drink the libations they’ve conceived; partake of their businesses’ inventions; help put on events celebrating their work; and tell everybody how great this region of Michigan is because of these people and their labors of love. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
“How’d we end up getting this fancy lettuce? This stuff is good!” exclaimed a Posen High School student walking through the cafeteria line one day.
When I woke up today, the last breakfast I thought I’d be eating was kimchi and a myriad of unique pickled items including, but not limited to: roasted brussel sprouts, rutabaga, beef heart, asparagus, carrots, pork loin, whole smelt, and eggs, just to name a few. But Scott McQuarrie, farmer and owner of the Alpena General Store (AGS), had other ideas. Scott seems to frequently be a man of business innovation, and all things food and farming.
Mental health affects us all. In fact, one in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness in any given year. It is very likely you or someone you know has dealt with the effects of mental illness to some varying degree.
Some experience debilitating and severe mental illnesses, while other individuals’ conditions interfere less in their daily lives. Either way, we know that the brain is an organ, and it’s just as sensitive to what we eat and drink as the heart, stomach and liver. Despite a growing body of evidence worldwide that links nutrition and mental health, the connection often is overlooked in today’s methods of treatment. It’s time we, as a community, advocate for nutrition as a form of mental health care and emphasize this need throughout our area.