Where on earth did my Veggie Chilli come from?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Photo credit: Jonathan Rausseo

While preparing dinner this Sunday October the 16th, take a minute to think about where that food came from. Were any of your ingredients local? Fair-trade? Did it come from your freezer, ready to be nuked in the microwave? This Sunday is World Food Day, a day to recognize the intricacies of our global food production system and more importantly- your place within it.

It seems odd to contemplate where every last ingredient in your meal came from, how it was produced, who grew it, how long it was transported for, and what it cost you, but you should try it. Hell, try for even for half your meal’s worth of ingredients and you would be surprised. Thinking back to the last meal I prepared, vegetarian chilli, it seems impossible to recall off the top of my head where the ingredients were produced. I know that the tomatoes were from Canada, as were the beans…but where on earth was my fake beef, the spices, etc. made?

The intentions of World Food Day are fairly broad; according to their website it aims to promote awareness of our food production, global hunger issues, increasing the spread of technologies to developing countries and improve social conditions of workers. Okay, a lot to think about this Sunday but here is a short list of things to think about:

  1. Where are the ingredients of your food produced? If not local, is this food able to be produced in your region or country? 
  2. Have you ever been to where these ingredients were produced? How would you rate the quality of life in this area?
  3. How much did you pay for your meal? Can someone living below the poverty line afford this meal?
  4. Can you name three organizations within half an hour of your residence that offer food bank style options?
  5. How often in the past year have you bought produce from local vendors?

Just a few things to mull over as you mow down this Sunday. Me? Lately I have been eating some delicious veggie chili from the Soup Truck on campus. Everything is local, even the cookies!

And remember-If you want to get to know about food security issues on campus, check out the Healthy Noon @ Agora event focused on food security coming up next week.
And of course if you must go trick or treating this year, go for “trick or eat” rather than “treat”!


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