Root Love, Myles Wilson and Kelly Grevers
Food is a really big deal to me. Thinking about it can make my heart swell and my brain want to dance. I love putting time into preparing tasty things. It makes me feel like I take care of myself, my body, and helps me keep doing the things I love to do. I really believe that you are what you eat. I mean, all the cells, molecules, chemicals, tissue in your body came from somewhere. They came from the food you’ve eaten. Think about it.
Where does food come from? Not the supermarket. It really comes from fields, greenhouses, clay pots on windowsills, cows, chickens, pigs, real animals! Which is why I don’t eat meat. The point is, food is not a human invention. We’ve been pretty creative with it, but it comes from that really sexy thing most of us call nature, or sweet, sweet Mother Earth. I feel like most people who live in the city forget that, because they often forget about nature in general. We forget how connected we are to this living being that is our planet. We forget that we stand on it, because there’s concrete between our feet and the suffocated soil. We forget that the sun shines and fills us with love because we hide inside with our computers. We’ve forgotten that trees and flowers and animals can talk because we’ve just been listening to ourselves. And we’ve started putting overly processed food in our bodies. All the nutrients that signal “life” have been removed, and we’ve forgotten what real food is, what comes straight from the land. We just want the fancy package, the shiny can. But when have you eaten Krap Dinner and felt really good after? After I had been cooking decent meals for myself for a few months, I had some, and I felt terrible after! I could feel my stomach wondering where the real stuff was. It wanted succulent vegetables, it wanted whole grains, not some creamy weird white flour mush.
There’s something about good, nutritious, and delicious food that shoots an arrow of amazingness to my brain. Mostly because I think about where it came from and the process it went through to get to my taste buds, to get to my tongue. Texture, flavour, scent, warmth, fullness, fulfillment. It’s like oral sex with the Earth involving incredibly long foreplay. Okay, awkward analogy. But it’s kind of true if you’re that into nature.
The first handpicked strawberry of the season makes me stand still in awe, tonguing that flavourful flesh. To think that a plant can make little bits of heaven grow all over itself!
Not only does food directly connect us to nature, it connects people to each other. We cook for one another, we bake bread together. We have potlucks. We share. There are people all over who realize the importance of food and that its commodification can make the healthy, delicious stuff inaccessible to many. These people are Foodies not Bombers, People’s Potato lovers. They are servers in soup kitchens; they are dumpster-divers. They are community gardeners. They are small organic farmers.
Please, for the love of your body, and the love of the planet, try to put beautiful, healthy, whole (as local as possible) foods into yourself. Here’s a recipe to start you out. Most of the ingredients can be found fairly locally.
Leek and Lentil Love
- A few tablespoons of oil
- A teaspoon of salt
- A tablespoon of delicious herbs, or a teaspoon of ground pepper
- 1 big / 2 medium leeks, cut into 1.5cm-ish chunks
- 3 large carrots, cut into sticks
- 4 medium potatoes, diced
- 1 ½ to 2 cups water
- 1 cup dried lentils
Heat the oil on medium-high in a large saucepan/pot. Add the salt and herbs/pepper and stir them around for several seconds. Throw all the vegetables in and stir-fry them for a few minutes, making sure everything’s nicely coated with oil. Add the water and the lentils and stir. Turn the heat up to maximum and cover with a tight-fitting lid. When it starts to boil, turn the heat down low and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When all the veggies are nice and soft/piercable with a fork, turn the heat off and it’s ready to serve!
[Adapted from my favourite cook book, 125 Best Vegetarian Recipes by Byron Ayanoglu, except I added lentils for a good shot of protein]