Friday, August 19, 2016

September is Hunger Action Month

A final message from our summer intern, Amanda...

Mid-July, I lined up behind Kent Family Growers tent at the Canton Farmers Market to pick up a CSA share, excited to assorted vegetables waiting to be prepared for next week’s meals.

Next to the sugar snap peas was a bin of pulses I did not recognize—a bean of some sort. I took a bite, but the starchy shell was rather chewy. The experience wasn’t unpleasant; in fact, I didn’t spit the green out. Actually, I ate the entire pod. The sign read “Fava Beans,” but my tongue read, “Do not eat raw.” Weighing my allotted pound and a half, I assumed I simply lacked the knowledge to make this produce desirably edible uncooked.

This experience made me wonder: How many people have encountered a strange vegetable and not known how to cook its earthy flesh? Many people I talked to at the market had no clue what to do with a Fava bean. In fact, my parents had never even heard of the bland legume until I attempted grilling them a handful based on a Google search. I then speculate, how many people wouldn’t have even bothered with cooking advice?

As humans, our lives are pivotally centered on food because energy acquisition is literally a matter of either life or death. Consequently, we spend the majority of our lives growing, procuring, cooking and ingesting food. The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims an average American spends 90 minutes a day eating. This statistic fails to include the process - like working a 40-hour week to pay the grocery bill.

This summer I’ve learned eating fresh produce is a privilege. I can afford to not only eat food from the Farmers Market, but also to take the time to prepare a meal. The time and money food consumes in our daily life is  one reason processed (and often cheaper) food is so popular. Cooking means I at least have fresh produce possibilities and different culinary choices for my meal tonight. This same opportunity is what GardenShare wishes to give everyone across St. Lawrence County.

September is Hunger Action Month, a national call for people to take initiative to fight hunger in their community. At GardenShare, we believe everyone has a right to healthy and affordable food as we promote the local food system.

Join us in our various activities that help directly impact friends, families and neighbors who are food insecure.

-Amanda Mae Korb
GardenShare summer intern