Food for Thought / by Camila Bernal

Images above were taken with my 35mm Nikon FM10 at Artichoke Dairy Farm in Rowley, MA and at Appleton Farm in Ipswich, MA. 

My relationship with the world constantly changes. I try to live conscious of my ability and capacity to create, consume, waste, kill, and destroy. This is not only in relation to animals, land and food, but also human rights, labor laws, equity and equality, all the complex and mind boggling dynamics within a consumerist society. 

I'm not strictly vegetarian or vegan, I can probably identify more as a "flexitarian" on moral grounds, but again it ebbs and flows. I don't eat meat in restaurants but from time to time I make an exception if I'm going to a farm to table restaurant that serves local and ethically sourced food. I usually don't drink cow's milk but switch off from almond to hemp to rice to not rely solely on almond milk. Cheese on the other hand is one of my weaknesses since it goes well with some of my other weaknesses like pasta, but Field's Roast sells Chao slices which are coconut based and taste great in grilled cheese sandwiches. At home, we make a 2 hours drive out to western Massachusetts every 4 months to buy beef from Hager Bros Farm; a small family run farm, who have a herd of 25 Hereford cattle for beef. And we don't buy the popular cuts, we'll try cow's heart and liver or tongue.

During the summer months we are members of Stone Soup Farm's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and pick up farm shares on a weekly basis with seasonal fruits and vegetables. This past summer we planted and grew our own vegetables in our garden, we harvested cherry tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, egg plant, and herbs. And we recently started our own compost which we're hoping to use to fertilize next summer's vegetable patch. 

It's not easy, but if I wanted to be comfortable, if that was my priority, I'd say f*** it and eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I want, to the best of my ability, live within the world not above it, I want to respect life and death. I also understand that my ability to decide and pursue this, comes with a sense of privilege, I understand that I work with people living in food deserts who don't have the capacity to access fresh food. But I think a little effort goes a long way specially for those who have choices. Jedediah Purdy sums it up pretty well on this article on The Atlantic by saying: 

"we live with the rest of the world, and it can be a big pain in the ass, or even hurt or kill us, but it is also the only possible site and source of all the joys we can have."