I am home with a sick boy today. I was going to type out a write-up all about our weekend in Detroit about the lovely Henry Ford Museum and Toy Story on Ice. Then I was going to give you your next good eats installment about the restaurant we went to in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit.
And then this morning happened.
I was reminded all about the choices we make in our lives, for our families, and for ourselves. Through an open dialogue, I was reminded how important it is to talk about our choices in a kind, considerate and non-judgemental way. I'm certain I'm losing many of your right now, so let me give you a little background.
Four summers ago we were on our way to the beach, and I was reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. The book changed forever the way I look at food, our food sources, and how my family eats. I began to tip-toe into the world of locavory. We aren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but more like a work in progress. We seek out local food producers (local defined as the Midwestern region). We try to find organic if possible. We support locally-owned businesses. We found an awesome CSA last spring that we joined. I learned how to start seeds and began our gardening adventures. I culled memories of my mom canning and preserving foods when we were kids, and now "put up" pickles, jams, jellies, and sauces in the summer months. In the process we have found a wonderful community in the area of food producers, restaurateurs, and more that put a face to the food on our table. This is what suits us.
However, I understand that there are a wide variety of people out there. Families that are rushed, lead hectic lives and cook on the fly using prepared foods that I don't touch with a ten foot pole. Families that don't eat/use any animal products for religious or moral reasons. Families who have a child with food allergies and bend diets of everyone in the house around these allergies for the child's safety (where we consume peanut butter as though it is water). All of these families have made choices that work for them.
The dialogue that was opened up on our Facebook page today was one we are all too often afraid to have. I think it is so important to question and understand the choices we make (be it about our food, our values, our politics, or more) so that we understand each other better. This doesn't mean I think we should argue or belittle one another because they make a different choice than us. It is okay that my family chooses one thing whereas yours another. We can still be friends, right? I think it is time to stop drawing lines in the sand and realize that these choices are what make us all so interesting and real. What make us come together, laugh, have relationships, and grow. Even what makes our pot-luck parties so yummy!