I recently began a course on Functional Nutrition. The foundation of Functional Medicine is looking at the person as a whole, all the systems in the body working together tell a story. If a person is suffering from migraines, for example, functional medicine will get to the root cause, not just the symptom, the migraine. So what is the biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to our health? Yep, you guessed it: our food! We should always start with the highest quality food sourced possible to give our bodies what we need to feed, nourish, repair, and sustain. When the body has the right fuel then we can work on any other issues that may be present.
Story of Sustainable Food Systems
Our ancestors partook in sustainability before the term was mainstream. They were working with nature not against it. They planted what they needed and what they could share. They used their land to feed their animals, letting them roam between the rows and dine on the cover crops where they pooped and nourished the soil. They bartered or sold their produce to other local community members that grew, canned, or made what they didn’t. There was a strong sense of community and equality. Unfortunately, our recent shift to conventional large-scale farming ton increase yield and profit created imbalances that cause disease, poverty, and inequality.
Dare 2 Dream Farms cultivates many of the old, sustainable practices. What is sustainable now is actually regenerative. In many areas, we need to regenerate the practices of old not just sustain. I am a HUGE fan of the biodynamic, regenerative farming practices that Megan and Jeremy use and teach on their farm. They go that extra mile to be good stewards of the land. They inspire many of our local farmers to do the same. We all love our local, non-GMO, organic, biodynamically grown food but is there something else that can and should be done to protect the planet and our food source for the future?
What Can WE Do?
But back to the question, what can each of us do? How can we apply this same principle of functional medicine to the food system? Yes, we must start as a whole. The food system is how we grow, produce, ship, manufacture, and consume our food. It is about equity, social justice, health, well being, and community. It has the power to build strong communities. Decisions we make now will serve us later. To support a healthy growing system there are things that we can do.
First, we can encourage our local farmers that are using these techniques. Talk to your local farmer and tell them how much you appreciate the extra money, time, and effort it takes to grow the most nutrient-dense food we can buy. Thank them for employing regenerative techniques such as planting cover crops between the rows. Kiss the ground, that is full of good microbes and gives our food its richness.
Second, tell your doctor that food matters. You don’t want the quick fix. You want the only fix: good nutrition. If you are unsure of what you need nutritionally, you can start with the basics: organic fruits and vegetables, and plenty of good clean water.
Lastly, share what you can with others. If you get a CSA box from Dare 2 Dream Farms and you can share some with your neighbor or someone who doesn’t have as much access to good, nutrient-dense food. We can solve the food system but it will take a multi-prong approach and all of us doing our part. Dare 2 Dream Farms is already doing their part, let’s do ours!
Bring your family out to the Dare 2 Dream Farm Stand and share the farm life with them. As we mentioned in a previous post, Year-Round Schooling on the Farm, include this as part of your homeschooling. While you are at the farm, purchase produce grown biodynamically; or Sign Up for a CSA Box (Community Supported Agriculture) that can include vegetables, fruits, herbs, edible flowers, eggs, handmade bread, and more farm-fresh foods. You can pick it up from the farm, have it delivered to a local business near you, or have it delivered directly to your home each week!