The consolidation of industrial agriculture has not only narrowed down the number of corporations involved in monopoly over the system but also the number of commodities, with less of a focus on diversity and quality of crops and animal species, and a greater emphasis on yield and cost efficiency. These shifts coupled with highly mechanized and resource intensive practices have resulted in huge percentages of the global population left malnourished while others suffer from diseases of affluence like obesity and diabetes. Soil fertility, species variation and biodiversity, nutrient quality, and resource management is valued and flourishes in these groups. The modern food system as it is offers a food chain from seed to table dominated by a handful of corporations, foods, and practices, whereas traditional food systems are interdependent and founded on relationships and diversity.
Preparing your own foods helps to increase your sense of independence, providing you with knowledge, skills, and confidence to stray from conventional eating and modern food systems. By avoiding trips to the grocery store or restaurants, you’ll save money on processed foods and transportation costs. To save time, choose staples and use a meal plan with specific days for food prep. Educate yourself by taking a class, reading a book, using charts and guides, and by talking to peers and like-minded people, educators, and nutritionists. Understand labels and what is in the food you buy, grow herbs and container gardens, collect recipes and skills, and follow your instincts.
Creating food empowerment at home
- Grow your own foods emphasizing a diverse selection of species, in particular from heirloom, non-GMO seeds from local sources
- Make your own snacks and meals. Improve your knowledge of and confidence in food preparation.
- Preserve food.
- Eat seasonally and buy local.
- Keep a month’s supply of food in storage.
- Buy directly from farmers (cooperatives, local businesses and farms, farmer markets)
- Develop a community. Fund a community garden, kitchen, or education initiative. You can also split costs for bulk items and trade seeds as well as your harvest!