My dad grew up on a working cattle farm in rural Arkansas. As a child I helped my Grandma with her enormous garden. I remember picking strawberries and blackberries. Finding the fat squash, watermelons, and pumpkins on the vines. Pulling up carrots and lettuce. Waiting for the corn to grow. Even now, over 20 years since my grandmother passed away, the scent of strawberries will always smell like summer to me.
In my grandparents’ generation, everyone had “vegetable patches” out of necessity. Fresh produce was too expensive or would require an hour or more of travel time to find. You grew as much as you could; ate what you needed; froze or canned enough to make it through winter; and gave the rest to your friends and neighbors. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a kind of currency, a way to show love and friendship.
Recently Oxfam contacted me to help share their campaign for World Food Day, which I was thrilled to help with. This World Hunger Day, October 16th, Oxfam is encouraging people to host a Sunday dinner and discuss where your food is coming from. Today 1 in 7 people worldwide go hungry, despite a global abundance of food. Over 17 million children in the U.S. have food insecurity-they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Oxfam wants us to have a conversation about where your food is grown, who is growing it, is it ethically farmed, and is it environmentally sustainable.
So next Sunday, Oct 16, invite friends over! Have a potluck at church. Gather friends in your dorm room. Organize a meal for your child’s class. To help you host a dinner, Oxfam has provided Sunday Dinner Materials. There are recipes from chefs: Giada De Laurentiis, Mark Bittman, Eric Yost,and José Andrés. There are World Food Day placemats, as well as recipe cards to give away. There are posters and stickers available for those who are hosting a large group. Oxfam has provided a Sunday Dinner Discussion Guide to help guide your conversation.
A party with food, friends, and free stuff! What’s not to love?
You can ORDER FREE MATERIALS for your dinner by October 21.
I know as a dietitian and blogger I am often more inclined to examine the nutrition of the foods I eat, but am far less likely to really discover where it was grown and the conditions it was grown under. I try to eat locally when I can. I love a Farmer’s Market, and will stop on the side of the road for someone with a truck full of produce! But,more often than not, I just buy what is available at the store. So I am thankful to be a teeny tiny part of Oxfam’s World Hunger Day. I hope you to take advantage of the free materials, and use them to start a discussion. Even if you don’t host a meal, I encourage each of you to really look at where your food comes from and support local farms as well as those that are ethical and sustainable.
Do you know where and how your food is made? Will you host a dinner? If you do, I want to see it! You can tweet @Oxfam to share!