Food security is about planning ahead; it’s about making sure that you and your family have healthy, nutritious food all year round. What we put into our bodies is important and when we talk about fruits and vegetables, the nutritional value begins with the seeds we plant. Although the saying, “You are what you eat” dates back to the 1800’s, it was made popular during the hippy movement in the sixties and referred mostly to eating organic and macrobiotic foods.
While the specifics about this saying may have changed, its message has always been about healthy eating. Today, the phrase Food Security has taken over and although the message is the same, the phrase encompasses a lot more than just organic, it also refers to foods that are free of GMO, MSG and a host of chemicals that are added to the foods we eat every day. It’s true that more and more individuals and families have taken the time to put aside an emergency food supply to last them through any number of unexpected disasters and emergencies. Many have even made the important decision to choose food that is GMO and MSG free and many have included meals that are gluten free.
Another aspect of food security refers to making sure, as much as possible, that the food we put on our dinner table is grown locally. This includes being more selective at the grocery store, shopping at local farmers’ markets, and of course growing your own vegetables. Having a garden can be in your backyard, in pots on a balcony or even a community garden. The critical thing about growing your own food is seed selection. In many cases the vegetables that you have grown from seeds or plants that have been purchased at local garden shops are ‘single year harvests’. This means that the seeds produced by these plants cannot be replanted for future harvests.
When purchasing seeds, you want to make sure that they are labeled, ‘non-hybrid’ or ‘open-pollinated’ seeds. This means that you can save these seeds for future planting. If you are lucky enough to live in a more temperate climate, like we do here in British Columbia, there are also a variety of edible plants that can be grown and harvested year round. So when you and your family are preparing your stores of food for future use, don’t forget about the amazing variety of non-hybrid seeds that you can plant and enjoy as they become mature or prepare them at home, organically, for future use.
Food Security and emergency preparedness can go hand in hand with seeds that are 100% non-hybrid and GMO free along with pre-packaged foods that can be stored for years and that are nutritious and also GMO and MSG free. It seems that even after all these years the phrase ‘You are what you eat” is still a very important message and one that we should all take seriously.