12 May From Seed to Shelf
Posted at 20:56h in Central AmericaWritten by Lindsey Berk, 2014 Guatemala: From Seed to Shelf “Eating is an agricultural act.” – Wendell Berry, American novelist, activist, cultural critic, and farmer We seem to have forgotten that. At least, I had forgotten that until I left my corporate job and my NYC apartment in 2011 to begin a three-year journey around Latin America and Australia. Working on a winery in Mendoza, Argentina during its harvest taught me the importance of a farmer’s vigilance and dedication – as well as how fickle a crop can be. WWOOFing on an organic farm in Byron Bay, Australia, brought out my inner child as I delighted in pulling carrots, radishes, and peanuts out of the ground. Volunteering at a coffee cooperative in Guatemala instilled in me the importance of fair wages and food justice. This was the same girl who had grown up with a plethora of food in the pantry, always answering the slightest hunger rumble with a more-than sufficient meal without giving a second thought to how that food got there. But now I know how food gets to us. I know that every ingredient has its own journey, and that frankly, not all journeys are created equal. Local or industrial; organic or conventional; direct trade or fair trade, slow food or fast food. These words were not just created by marketers; they have a real impact on the way we eat. That’s why I teamed up with Operation Groundswell to lead From Seed to Shelf: Ethical Consumerism from the Ground Up in Guatemala this fall.