*The following blog post is from Lindsey Wright of Dear Wilderness: Exploring Beauty, Wellness, and Balance. Follow her blog here.
One of the things that people are really starting to take notice of these past few years, is the sustainability of food, and how we can be socially responsible with how we eat. With documentaries like Food, Inc. and Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, and authors like Michael Pollan, people have begun to see what really happens to our food before we eat it, and it’s created a push for less pesticides, GMOs, and factory farms, as well as more transparency about the source of our food. More than ever, people are buying local, organic, grass-fed, and cage-free. It’s proof that knowledge can lead to change, and that sustainability is possible.
The truth is, however, that this kind of sustainable, organic food comes at a cost- one that many in lower income levels cannot afford. The holiday season, a time of generosity, is also often a time where need is felt most acutely. Part of sustainability is being able to sustain others who need help, and there are many places where you can do so. Many churches have a food bank where they are always accepting donations (St. James Episcopal Church, where I attend, would love your help!) There’s the LA Food Bank, Los Angeles Mission, and World Harvest Food Bank. Perhaps one of the best ways to help someone, is to simply invite them to share a place at your table. There’s nothing more intimate than opening your home, feeding someone, and sharing yourself with them: it is such an honor.
So when we think about sustainability, it is more than just about the food we eat- it’s about sustaining others, too, and the holidays are the perfect time to give back. Consider sharing a meal in any way you are able this Christmas, and see what kind of joy it brings to everyone involved.