I’ve been on a journey with food all of my life. From my early love for peanut butter on everything and dedication to Mac and Cheese, to more sophisticated adult explorations of varied ‘cuisine’. I’ve experimented with genres of eating in vegetarianism and veganism (that was for about 3 days) and have dabbled in eating raw. I’ve visited and lived in different countries immersing myself in new types of foods, not shying from the most obscure or downright ‘scary’ in some cases. To me food is the cultural currency of a community and should be fully explored.
About 6 years ago I encountered my first unchosen food ‘diversion’ if you will. I learned I was gluten intolerant. At the time I was also dairy intolerant which was a huge blow being one who feels cheese should be righteously placed in a food group of its own. I won’t lie, this was a shock and felt as though I was given a passport to a country I never knew existed and told I’d be living there for the rest of my life. My next year became about assessing how much of a deficit I was now in. Searching for suitable substitutes for things I may not even have loved to eat before but were in threat of never being available to me now.
The great thing is that we are living in the age we are and in a place that is very food centric (Boulder Colorado). Well before gluten became something noted on grocery store shelves, in news articles and more casually in children’s classrooms this community had a beat on it. I definitely had a leg up in my learning thanks to that. I quickly learned what was safe, what to avoid and how to modify to live a full food life without sacrifice.
The gluten intolerant road really lead me to elevating my involvement with local food. My interests moved toward whole foods and organics. We got a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share in a local biodynamic farm where for the past 4 years we’ve enjoyed going to a farm weekly June through December to discover what fresh produce awaits us. We shop at the local farmers market weekly to supplement any produce we need. We now cultivate our meals around what is available seasonally, starting with the produce and working backwards to the recipe for a given meal.
Then came ‘Food Inc’, Michael Pollan, ‘Fresh’, Animal Vegetable Miracle….and I became totally smitten. My passion for food transformed into a passion to test my ability to have a diet as locally and seasonally based as possible. Due to the seasonality of Colorado I was very curious if I could subsist on produce and meat from this area only over the winter. I did supplement some products that were not produce or meat for the sake of my children but really wanted to challenge myself and my ingenuity.
Through the success that experience brought I found many resources locally, met many fascinating people and feel really alive about my food in a way I never have. I’ve shared many of these findings with friends who have encouraged me tirelessly to write about them, so here I am. I hope if you are reading this you might be a kindred spirit who will find joy in my tales or perhaps a resource you’ve been seeking! I’d love to hear from you about your own experience or resources you are dying to share with an eager enthusiast! Thank you for giving me some of your time.