Essay Contest Runner-Up: You Are What You Eat by Aviva Friedman

15 Aug

Another runner-up essay from our Locavore Challenge writing contest – enjoy! These essays do not necessarily represent the opinions of NOFA-NY, its staff, or any of its certified organic or farmers pledge farms.  We hope they give you plenty to think about and discuss!

Consider: Eating is one of the most intimate things that we do, as what you ingest actually becomes part of your body.  In a day and age where the status quo is cheap, low-quality, high-quantity food, it is therefore out of the ordinary to seek out local, organic, nutritious and natural food.  What an interesting concept, considering our place as inhabitants of the Earth!  For thousands and thousands of years, we ate food that was grown with the beating sun as fuel, molded by years of natural selection.  We used the rain as our sprinklers to water our crops, and we used our hands to harvest them.  And within the last hundred or so years, we have completely disconnected from this process.  It now requires effort to overlook the household names of chain supermarkets, to ask where your food comes from, to grow your own food, or to buy from a local farmers market.

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Eating local and organic food is about so many things.  It is caring about your body and what goes into it, it is caring about the Earth that sustains us, but it is also about swimming upstream–saying no to the easier option.  Saying no to the omnipresent  corporations and yes to the local farmers.  Saying no to unhealthy, low-quality government subsidies and yes to fresh, natural produce.  It is taking an active stance in something that affects all of us.  Eating locally and organically is eating food with integrity.

About the author: Aviva Friedman is an Environmental Studies student at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

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