Thank you for joining the Partners in Health and Wholeness Book Club. You can officially sign-up here. Through it, we hope to engage people of faith in discussions over why our health matters. Our current choice of reading is “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver. We are posting updates through the PHW Facebook page, but our PHW blog page has the discussion posts in full with responses from staff. Just look for the picture of the apple on top of the books and you will find past Book Club entries.
Christmas was yesterday, but we do not have to lose the spirit of giving, sharing and love. This chapter describes a group of people coming together to market local produce and get it into the supermarkets. This is beneficial for the local economy and small, family farms in the area. The really interesting part is that there are really specific market standards that decide whether or not a vegetable gets into the store to begin with. “Every crop yields a significant proportion of perfectly edible but small or oddly shaped vegetables that are ‘trash’ by market standards. It takes as much work to grow a crooked vegetable as a straight one, and the nutritional properties are identical. Workers at the packing house were as distressed as the farmers to see boxes of these rejects piling up into mountains of wasted food.”
Several churches and social justice groups gathered together and delivered these rejected boxes of produce to low-income families. And as she notes, “Fresh organic produce entered some of their diets for the first time.”
There are groups doing similar work across our state, working to increase access to healthy local food (many of these through the Healthy Eating Equipment Grants given in partnership with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina.) Let’s continue to look for ways to work for health and justice after the holiday season and into the new year.
1. Are you used to your produce looking a certain way? Are you willing to try new and different looking fruits and vegetables?
2. What is the most unique vegetable you’ve tried? Was it locally grown?
3. What movements for local foods are taking place in your community?
Partners in Health and Wholeness is an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches. PHW aims to connect health as a faith issue. Please visit our website to sign your personal pledge to be healthier, and to find out about grant opportunities for places of worship in NC.