I believe that food plays a tremendous role in my life. Before attending Chewonki, I never thought about my food; where it came from, how far it had traveled, what it was made from, and who had put it together. However, now that I attend this school, I feel like I can be a huge part of my food’s making and journey. I have had the great opportunity of being able to work a lot at the Salt Marsh Farm. I have milked a cow, seen as it steams in the cold air, and days later put that milk on my granola. It was my hands that milked, I know what Halo looks, and I know that the furthest this milk has traveled was 600 feet from farm to pasteurizing room to the refrigerator. I have collected the eggs from underneath a chicken, 5 hours old at the most. I have cleaned the shells, and brought them to the kitchen, to see them the next morning as scrambled eggs. I have taken tomato seedlings, Black Prince, Orange Banana, and Amish Paste, and planted them in bigger containers, to later be planted in the high tunnels. I won’t eat them this year, but I know they will grow and feed the boys campers. I believe that 600 feet is completely feasible, and that 600 miles is disgusting.
I believe that I can play a huge role in the making of my food. I can collect it, cook it, and transport it. It’s not that hard. I also believe that food plays a huge role in my life. When I fasted, I realized that the moment I woke up, I was only perked up by the thought of food. The first day of my fast, waking up was driven by the thought of oatmeal and brown sugar, scrambled eggs and salt, and farm milk. In a few moments, I realized I couldn’t eat that food because of my fast. Experiencing merely 12 hours without food allowed me to look at how significant food is. I eat to enjoy, not to survive.
I believe that I need to look at my food more. Appreciate where it comes from, what the ingredients are, all of the work put into it, the many miles it has come. I believe that food makes me happy, and that I should not be ashamed of that. I believed that I need to be mindful, and grateful.
-Karly Oettgen, Concord Academy, MA