An essay on how in the last 10 years, the whisper “Where does our food come from?” has become a roar.
I had never heard the term “locavore” when I started what I called, somewhat jokingly, my “10-mile diet.” I planted a garden. I picked berries. I bought chicken from the farm down the road. (I survived, my New York friend Tracy rightly pointed out, only because there was a brewery, Ben & Jerry’s and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters all based within that 10-mile radius.) My asthma cleared up and I ran the dirt roads. And I started to cook again.
Undisturbed by phone calls, I found the time at last to browse the shiny-covered cookbooks, collected but never opened. I pored over food magazines, including a new local one called EatingWell, never imagining that four years later I would work there.
In the silent summer evenings in the cabin, the clatter of pans took the place of the white noise of TV and the roar of crowded city bars. Garlic, wine and spices were perfume, sticky dough on my fingers a warm handshake.
And when dinner was done, I would take my plate outside and sit in an Adirondack chair on the porch, tasting—in the trout and chives and crabapple pie—the flavors of the river, the farm, the woods.
I realized then, I had everything I needed.
Today, I have that and more. Despite all that is still wrong with our food system—the food deserts, overconsumption, the fact that fewer than one in four Americans eats the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables—I see the changes that have happened to our food in 10 years. And I have hope.
Lisa Gosselin has been EatingWell’s editorial director since 2006.