WLFN Manager & Wellspring Education Center and Organic Farm Executive Director, Angela Rester had the opportunity to chat with a lot of attendees for the 2017 WLFN Summit and then last week, attended the Routes to Farm Summit where 130+ farmers gathered from Illinois, Southern WI, and a bit of Indiana. Both Summits had attendees talking about the need for folks to learn to cook again and to WANT to cook, which would lead to greater demands for local food which would in turn, positively impact the local economy and local community vitality, as well as, individual health.
Angie recalled seeing the movie “The Big Chill” where friends gathered over a weekend and while lives and the drama of those lives were revealed in the movie, the friends gathered in the kitchen to prepare the meal and cleaned up afterwards as they listened to great tunes like “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”. They sat together at the table and enjoyed conversation and great food. It honestly inspired folks to cook together and enjoy it! Some may also recall the surge and interest in “progressive dinners” where the different courses were prepared and eaten in different homes.
Is it time for something to happen that makes it “cool” to cook again and take time to enjoy food and friendship or family? As a nation, do we need to change the devaluing of the dining experience where we insist that kids inhale their food at school and not talk or talk very little? As a former 2nd grade teacher and someone who has traveled to 30 countries and seen and experienced the customs around food, Angie was very uncomfortable herself when given all of 8-10 minutes to eat her lunch before going out for playground duty (this was back in the mid-70’s). However, now sometimes teaching Farm to School in several elementary schools, she sees the same thing still happening. “The lack of time to eat not only teaches really bad eating habits, but I think it also leads to some of the food waste we are seeing,” commented Rester.
This article from Huffington Post poses the question, “Should Schools Bring Back Home Economics?” What do you think? Go to our Facebook page and leave comments with this posting. While there, LIKE our page if you haven’t already!
At the Summit, Breakout Sessions included;
Wisconsin Farm to School: Continuing the Momentum – Vanessa Herald, Farm to School Outreach Specialist; Allison Pfaff Harris, WI Department of Public Instruction; Beth Hanna, Community GroundWorks; Natasha Smith, REAP Food Group
Food Waste and New Opportunities for Food Recovery – Jonathan Rivin, World Environmental Consulting
Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE)- Growing Farm to Early Care and Education in La Crosse – Daithi Wolfe, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families; Audra Wieser, The Parenting Place; Jordan Tredinnick, The Parenting Place; Beth Hanna, Community GroundWorks; Jill Carlson Groendyk, Community GroundWorks