I was talking with a friend recently and she made a fantastic point about food literacy. Changing the way you eat is not just about health. It’s vitally important that we ALL pay attention to food–not just when our health fails. I know this of course, but honestly, most people just aren’t interested in understanding the food system and changing their status quo until their back is against the wall. Most of us take food for granted and many only get “woke” when our health or a loved one’s health demands it. Many of the nutrition practitioners I know (myself included,) came to the profession (calling) because of our own health scares. I know many moms who have become food literate in reaction to their child’s food allergies. The problem is we live at a time that the food system is completely broken. People used to understand food. Food literacy used to be second nature. Now we have to go out of our way to be educated about food.
So this post is not about health and food. It’s about all the OTHER reasons people need to wake up and get food literate. Eating consciously and “well” is not just about nourishing your body. It’s about saving the planet. Seriously. If that doesn’t move you (and obviously it should), it’s also about social justice. Not yet? How about animal welfare? It’s also about building communities that are strong and resilient. Still no? How about being prepared to take care of yourself? I mean having the knowledge to forage, grow, store, and prepare food. We aren’t promised a smooth ride.
I’m so passionate about food literacy because if we do food right, so many other things fall into place. Many books have been written to explain this and I certainly can’t lay it all out in this short post. What I can tell you is that we can change the food system overnight. You and me. Armed with information and making different choices.What I do with clients goes way beyond nutrition coaching for improving health. Sure, that’s the main goal BUT along the way, I teach principles, tools, and systems to unlock deep food literacy knowledge. Knowledge is power. If you want to understand food and feel better, I may have the program just for you.
Stay tuned to Small Wonder Food for more food literacy. Here are some ways to take action now:
- Hit me up. I teach food literacy.
- Read ingredient lists. Google those weird ingredients that don’t sound like food.
- Get to know a farmer and get food from them
- Read my Food Literacy Manifesto (what does food literacy even mean?)
- Listen to my podcast Food Smarts
- Read through the Food Literacy Book Club reading list or join us in person
For more on this topic check out my and Amie’s discussion about food literacy beyond health on Food Smarts Episode 35.