One way to care for ourselves during this time and stay connected to the natural world is to eat seasonally. Eating seasonally essentially means buying and cooking foods that have been grown and harvested within the same season. And if you are picturing the endless pumpkin spice products you find at Trader Joe's every autumn, you are not wrong. But eating seasonally is more than buying themed products, it is the way our ancestors ate, and it is what connected their environments to. In the fall, acorns, root vegetables, and other starchy foods sustain our bodies, while leafy greens and seeds in the springtime give us energy. Similarly, fruits and berries give us sugar, vitamin c, and antioxidants in the summer.
For many of us, time doesn't seem to pass quite the same in quarantine, but staying in tune with the changing seasons and connecting to the foods that are ripening now is a great way to enjoy what this time of year has to offer. This is a great opportunity to start paying attention to the food we buy and where we buy it.
You can start integrating seasonal items into your grocery list by checking out your local farmers market, food co-op, or support a local farm by signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project. Find a Certified Farmers' Market near you. You can also try growing your own produce in a small garden.
By taking steps to eat seasonally available products, you can receive the highest nutritional value from your food, while supporting local farmers, and reducing your carbon footprint. It will also taste much better!
Ultimately, mending these connections to our food source will allow us to pay more attention to the cycles of earth and appreciate her seasonal bounty!
Want to learn how to incorporate native species to your diet? Check out the upcoming CNC TI course: Eating California! Using Native Plants in your Diet and Garden on June 4th. This one of a kind presentation led by native food enthusiast Antonio Sanchez, discusses the ancient and re-emerging field of California native foods and their cultivation. Register for the online event: https://www.communitynatureconnection.org/event-details/eating-california-using-native-plants-in-your-diet-and-garden
To learn more about cooking with Native food, you can purchase: Cooking the Native Way by The Chia Cafe Collective
For inspiration on new plant-based mexican style recipes, you can purchase: La Vida Verde by Jocelyn Ramirez, chef and founder of Todo Verde.
Decolonizing the Diet features members of the Chia Cafe Collective who work in Southern California to revive Native food practices and raise awareness about the precariousness of these important cultural resources.
Decolonizing Cuisine with Mak-’amham to see how Ohlone chefs are revitalizing Ohlone language, food practices and adapting them for a modernist palette.
A cooling summertime water infusion recipe: