I am like many women reading this – overly obsessed with the way my body looks. When I was really young I never gave a second thought to the food that I was eating. It was placed in front of me, almost always it was wholesome and nourishing and it tasted just fine. It was usually consumed in huge gulps before I ran back outside to play with my friends. Food really was simply the fuel for play.
Something changed around the age of 8 or 9. I began to become aware of my body in new ways. A trip to the ice cream store suddenly prompted a weigh in, and though I was a twig, I began to feel conscious of the food I put into my mouth. But not a good kind of conscious more a … will this buttered bagel put weight on my stomach? It makes me sad to think about this now; I was only a child having grown up thoughts.
But I am unfortunately not an anomaly. My story of a weight conscious adolescence is the typical story today. Our young girls have unhealthy thoughts about perfectly healthy bodies simply because they feel the pressure to live up to some out of touch ideal.
Now that I am older, I am a slightly more secure in my body. I have gained weight with the birth of my three children and no longer the twig I was at 15. But slowly I am becoming ok with weight as instead I turn my attention to the quality of food I put in my mouth. Instead of wanting to know how many calories are in the food I eat, I want to know where my food comes from.
When my oldest child was born something changed inside my head; always an animal lover I began to feel uncomfortable eating meat. I didn’t like the idea of animals being raised for slaughter, and didn’t really want to be a part of ingesting their flesh. I became a vegetarian, and then slowly a vegan. In the 7 years since that change, I have gone through various stages of being a vegan and I now consider myself a loose vegan, still having salmon when my brother hauls it out of the ocean as a fresh catch and occasionally having a slice of cheese.
My family and I also participate in Community Shared Agriculture whenever we can. By providing seed money to farmers at the beginning of the season, we are able to support local farming in our community while also reaping the rewards of the harvest. We have had the opportunity to sample some really delicious, and sometimes new-to-us, produce this way. It is also a great way to access organic produce, which can be hard to locate and often is quite expensive (CSAs make it affordable). Choosing organic produce when I can has become important to me too – I want food that has not been slathered in chemicals.
So when we were approached to write about a new opportunity to get involved with an organic farm in Okanagan Valley – Athena Organic Farm and Eco-Retreat – I said yes, a big huge yes. Helping others to become more conscious of the food they eat is something I feel passionate about.
As a conscious eater, this just feels right: like a CSA program where you provide start-up funds to support local farming, right now you can own a piece of Athena Organic Farm and Eco-Retreat – through SeedUps Canada, a first equity crowdfunding platform where qualified investors can own a piece of the farm.
Now is the right time to do this: the people at Athena tell me that organics demand in Canada outstrips supply by 4 times. No wonder I have a hard time finding what I want in the store. And in Western Canada we rely on supply from California, which is now heavily impacted by drought conditions. Plus, why import when you can support the livelihood of farmers in our own communities? It is better for the economy, the food is fresher (because it didn’t travel as far) and the carbon footprint is much smaller (think about all the exhaust output needed to travel by truck).
Eating local food is an important part of my commitment to healthy eating. Is it yours? Take a look at what the people at Athena Organic Farm and Ec0-Retreat are working on. And consider supporting this group of experienced entrepreneurs out to encourage families to eat local. Lets make food the fuel for play, once again, and turn our attention to consuming good quality food we helped to grow.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Athena Organic Farm and Eco-Retreat, Crystal and I will be visiting the farm when the retreat opens to the public. We are grateful for this opportunity, and for the chance to share our food philosophy with you. Opinions are, as always, our own.
Photo Copyright: ehaurylik / 123RF Stock Photo