Something I find interesting about food is that it plays an integral role in the lives of every individual on this earth and every person has his/her own unique relationship with food. I first became fascinated by food over my freshman year J-Term class regarding meditation. One night, about a week into the course, our teacher held a silent dinner in which we all gathered at our professors beautiful wood dining table and ate a phenomenal freshly cooked, organic meal together while sitting in total silence. Earlier in class that day, our professor had explained that during the dinner we should be practicing “mindful eating” in which we should work to cultivate a sense of pleasure and enjoyment with each and every bite that we take. Our teacher suggested that we think deeply about the roots of our food. Where was it coming from? What kind of human and physical energy was put into bringing this food to our plates? Additionally, she told us to question what were we tasting. What spices and food was put together to provide the taste that we were eating?
I thought about this particular evening today while I was driving with my boss Liza home from a meeting in Willistown, VT. The conference that we went to was for young entrepreneurs or business owners looking to expand their networks and build relationships. This summer I am working as an intern and the manager of the communications branch of a student-run organization called Middlebury Foods. Since receiving my position on the Midd Foods team for the summer I am beginning to fully realize the extent of what an incredible organization this is and all of the unbelievable work that has been put into making Midd Foods the business that it is. Middlebury Foods is a completely non profit organization that works to help the local food economy by selling wholesale groceries at affordable prices while simultaneously promoting local producers. As the communications manager, I manage the Facebook, instagram and email accounts, as well as taking phone calls as well as simultaneously work with Liza and our other summer intern Emily to expand the company in creative new ways. Today at the conference, I spoke with a young artisan named Sarah who is trying to grow her graphic design business. After answering Sarah’s questions regarding Midd Foods, I was excited to hear her ideas regarding our business as she explained her experience working as a employee at Trader Joes. Sarah discussed the ways in which food is not only inaccessible to many people but also not utilized efficiently as education surrounding food and health is minimal. In the car as we sped back to campus, Liza and I discussed how it could be very helpful for Midd Foods customers if in our July delivery the bags contained sheets with quick and simple cooking tips and recipes such as: How to Cook Rice or How to Marinate Chicken. This would be easy to implement and potentially extremely helpful to many of our clientele. The drive back from Willistown to Middlebury was absolutely stunning with the mountains and all of the clouds and it was a very special moment to be sitting with my new friend Liza in her Jeep talking about real ways in which we could help to minimize food insecurity in Vermont.
My goals for this summer include putting all the time and energy possible into expanding Middlebury Foods, an organization that is truly amazing and I want to do everything that I can to help it grow as well as being mindful of all of my actions regarding food and the energy that I send into and take from the world. I am truly excited to further understand what makes a food system operate and then connect this back to Midd Foods and apply it my own plan for how to lead my life.