Lately it seems like everywhere you go someone is talking about eating locally. Suddenly everything in the supermarket is labeled with it’s very official sounding “country of origin.” So what’s all the fuss about anyways? The fuss in my opinion is about knowing what goes into your mouth and into the mouths of your near and dear.
Do you really know much about the food you buy in the supermarket? Often it’s packaged, usually to the point that you can no longer smell it, which is odd for food if you really think about it. If you live in New England and buy produce in your supermarket you undoubtedly notice the odd uniformity of your oranges, and the slick waxiness of cucumbers this time of year. Have you really thought about how that got there and why it needed to be there in the first place? Maybe you’re like me and spend lots of time at the fish counter trying to figure out if it’s better to buy farm raised fish that’s pretty local or whether you should go for the wild fish that’s from lands far away.
In honor of our inquiring minds, and our hope that you will inquire along with us, Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm has launched a new initiative that we’re calling Know Your Food. It’s not about expensive, hard to find specialty food, and it’s not about being bored to tears eating tasteless health food, it’s really just about understanding your food, where it came from, what it came from, what it can do for you, and what the consequences are of the food choices you make.
Not only do we believe we should understand our food system, but we also believe in action. Our sanctuary land has included farm fields as long as we’ve been in existence (for at least the past 50 years), and many of you know that we operate a real working farm and that we sell produce, meat, and eggs, and that we have both a summer and winter CSA. We operate our farm in a sustainable and responsible way that allows us to model our commitment to farming that protects the environment. We encourage others to also farm responsibly and urge shoppers to support their local farms and to recognize their vital role in the fabric of their communities.
Eating responsibly is not simple, we recognize that. The good news is that Drumlin Farm has an entire education department to help educate you and your children. We offer year-round programming for adults and children, for individuals, and groups. Our programming is both informative and fun. We also have opportunities to enjoy the wonderful products of our farm and our region. One of these opportunities is coming up early next month. Join us on February 6 at 7:00 pm for a delicious dinner and great conversation with guest speaker Brian Donahue at our Winter Harvest Dinner. Call 781-259-2206 to register. If you want to learn more sign up for our Know Your Food newsletter.
Come for a visit, come to learn something new, and consider whether or not you really know your food.
- Christy Foote-Smith
Sanctuary Director, Drumlin Farm