First, I would like to take a moment to introduce you to my friend Jasmine Brown, the author of today’s guest post. We first met when we were roommates and the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference back in June. Jasmine is easily one of the most fun and most passionate people I have ever met! When Jasmine speaks, you listen! She commands an audience and I am so glad that she has agreed to write a guest post on a topic that I too am passionate about, Organic and Local Eating! Additionally, I would like to add a sincere CONGRATULATIONS to Jasmine and her husband Garrett as she gave birth to their third child, Tobias, LAST NIGHT! Check out her blog The Brokins, which she co-writes with her friend Sadie, to read all of her hilarious antics and to see some pictures of her adorable little one!
“Organic and Local” Eating: The Beginning of Jasmine’s Journey
By Jasmine Brown of The Brokins
As an African American kid growing up in the projects the word “organic” was never mentioned. We lived on food stamps and government subsidies and struggled to make ends meet. Buying “name brand” was an awesome privilege and I remember being very excited to be able to buy the same box cereals that other kids were able to eat. Some of my precious childhood memories involve the CareBears and Captain Crunch Cereal.
When I left home for college I found myself excited about so many new opportunities. I inundated myself with book after book about things that interested me, amongst the titles were numerous “organic eating” books.
I spent a year really diving into what food was about, how it shaped healthy, culture, and life. I am a planner and I wasn’t going to commit to something that I wasn’t really educated on. I asked farmers, friends, and educators questions. I read articles, blogs, and recipe books. I learned about the importance of food earnestly and respecting that strawberries have a season. I had NO idea about seasons. I knew my grandma gardened in the summer… but when we should be eating certain things never occurred to me.
In 2006 my husband and I decided to embark on the journey of eating more locally and organically, keeping our home free of most dangerous
chemicals (including makeup and hygiene products), and being more environmentally conscience. It was a slow change where we educated ourselves on what did and didn’t work for us. Five years later we can’ imagine doing things we used to do. Though we aren’t “100% organic” and local we make sure the “big impact” items of our family are sourced organic and/or locally.
*We buy our beef from our neighbor three houses down.
*We buy our poultry from a local hermitage and our eggs from a local farmer, Jesse, that we have had the chance to know.
*We reduce packaging by shopping in bulk and using our own containers (usually glass)
*We refrain from body and household products that contain sulfates, parabens, or are not 100% biodegradable or organic.
*We employ farmer’s markets, CSA’s, and our family garden to provide fresh (and seasonally canned produce) all year long.
You don’t have to do everything… even small changes make a difference. I am holding on to the belief the what I am doing for the lives of and health of my children will make a difference in them. I was very sick as child, I think a lot of the health issues I had were rooted in malnutrition. I want my kids to enjoy eating, respect the land and the people who grow their food, and understand that you don’t have to have anything RIGHT NOW. I am proud that my son knows that July is tomato season Moreover, food helps us open up much needed discussion with our children about stewardship, thankfulness, and being a good neighbor.
“Organic/Local” eating is a hot topic. Contentious even. It doesn’t have to be, at least I don’t think so. How different are your eating habits from what they were in childhood? What do you believe about the “organic and local movement”?
Are you interested in guest posting for Eggs and Herbs? We’d love to feature you and we are open to a wide range of topics! Please send a brief summary of your post idea to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you!