Yesterday we spent time with two of our grandkids in Portland. Four year old Amelia took me on a tour of her vegetable garden and explained why it is important to eat organic food, so we don’t get bad chemicals in our body. We harvested some sweet, sweet peas, carrots that tasted like candy, and small yellow tomatoes. As much ended up in our tummies as went into the bowl. She tells me that her favorite vegetable is eggplant. Either it’s true, in which case she has incredible taste, or she just wants to have the same favorite vegetable as her Grandma Cee Cee. Either way, I love that kid to pieces.
Later that night we took a walk down by the Willamette River to get some relief from the unrelenting hot, hot, hot of the day. We found wild Oregon blackberries growing all along the bank. Amelia and her not-quite-two year old sister Paloma braved the brambles and ate to their hearts’ content, faces stained with berry juice and sleepiness when it was time to go home.
I am reading the Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan right now – just a fantastic book that I highly recommend (that in fact I am going to use in my Food and Politics class this coming semester at I.U.) In simplest terms, it’s all about the sources of our food – what difference it makes what we choose to have for dinner. It warms my heart to see these two little girls learning about that difference from the start and having such a relaxed, intimate and adventurous relationship to their food -- no small achievement in these days of massive supermarkets and omnipresent fast food joints. Kudos to their parents!