Food Sharing: Are We In For The Revolution?
Food sharing. A very simple concept.
But, strangely enough, we don’t really hear too much about it yet, even though the main trend in the world today is “sharing”.
In fact, let’s think about it for a second.
There is car sharing, home sharing, book sharing, couch sharing, music sharing, and clothes sharing. And the list goes on.
Why is it, then, that food sharing is not yet very popular? Why is it defined a “revolution” by those who practice it?
Principally, it is because we do not yet fully realize what an important asset our food is. It comes from someone’s hard work, can make or break the environment, make us feel good or bad. And it can mean the difference between life and death for millions.
Don’t we agree that something with this kind of impact should be an integral part of the “sharing economy”? Of course we do!
So, from a practical point of view, what can we actively start doing to help our world move towards food sharing?
Below are a few pointers from our family’s experience. Since we are trying to practice a more conscious and selfless lifestyle as of the last year, we think these may be useful.
1. When food is fresh
The fresh food we use daily is homegrown. We are lucky to have our own urban garden to look after and it gives us bountiful seasonal harvests.
Most of the time, we have so much produce that we find ourselves at a loss as to how to use it all.
So how do we share it?
- Amidst friends and family. We simply grab the best of our fresh harvest, wash it, and go see our loved ones with gorgeous heaps of leafy greens, bags of shiny Granny Smiths and jars of burgundy onions.
- Throughout the neighborhood. It really doesn’t take much to put our veggies and fruit in a bag and just ring your neighbor’s doorbell, right?
- To those in need. We take part in the regular food drives that are at the core of our community’s initiatives. Here, we hand out produce to homeless people and street artists.
- At the local market. We set up a small table at the local market, along with our fellow (more experienced!) farmers. It’s a weekly affair where we all gather, swap and give away produce, seedlings and seeds.
- We regrow food and show others how to do the same. Beetroots, garlic, onions, swiss chard heads, lettuce ends. There is an infinite variety of produce that can be replanted. We constantly do so in our garden as well as by means of our family project, Planting Goodness. Here, we take the time to show our community – in person or through our website – how to regrow food. This, too, is an indirect way of sharing, as it creates the opportunity to have more to distribute through future harvests.
2. When food is a leftover
When we cook a meal that we can’t finish, we go by several ways of sharing.
- Leftovers go home with our guests. After a big dinner, we hand out doggy bags to those present.
- Recycling and upcycling. We take leftovers to the local homeless center, marking the cooking day on the container. Or we use them to create a new meal that we can share with our loved ones the following day. Or we share them as compost with our little garden.
3. When food is in a package
This type of food is easy to share, as it has a longer shelf life than fresh food. We buy supplies weekly at our local organic supermarket and distribute them as soon as we can.
- Through local schools and charities. Groups of teachers, citizens and parents collect goods for natural disaster victims and homeless, immigrant and refugee centers. We contribute what we can every month.
- In Little Free Pantries. We build our own boxes, fill them with food and leave them near the clothing collection bins present in most streets in our town.
As we see, it doesn’t take much to make the Earth a better place to live in. Each one of us can do so starting from our own little world.
Let’s do our best every day to join the revolution and be part of the change!
Michelle J. Calcatelli is a Creative, content & grant writer, Founder of Planting Goodness
Michelle comes from a family of farmers whose passion for the Earth prepared her for 18 years of work in rural Africa.
There, she served as a creative, content and grant writer with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), up to June 2017.
Now, Michelle is fully dedicated to changing the food system one family, one kitchen and one garden at a time.
In May 2017, she founded Planting Goodness: a global community project through which families are guided in growing their own food, harvesting it and sharing it with the community. The “plant, harvest, share” cycle gets repeated at each planting season until everyone involved is helping fellow neighbors to eat better and to live better.