If you have always wondered who is that girl in the overalls, pushing a shopping cart down Uintah Street, here I am! My name is Mel Yemma and I love all things food: from the garden, to the kitchen, to the dinner table.
From reading Michael Pollan and Wendell Berry’s works, living in the Synergy House and learning about life off the meal plan, studying abroad in Thailand and witnessing what a true food culture looks like, to working on the CC Farm, the importance of a well-rounded diet has become a part of me. My time in the kitchen is my best stress release. I enjoy the sunshine and camaraderie in the garden, and the best parts of my day are those wine-and-food-filled conversations that happen around the dinner table.
Whether you’re a ramen type of guy or a hard-core vegan, food has something to do with everyone. We all eat it and most of our social experiences revolve around it. And yet, today we are more disconnected from our food than ever before. Eating can seem more like a chore than a part of our culture, especially at those busy moments.
Change at the grassroots and campus level is coming to fruition with an emphasis on local food. Within this movement, we are seeing potlucks and urban gardens become increasingly trendy. In the past six months, Bon Appetit, who pride themselves on being a leader in this food movement, has spent $9,500 on completely local food from the CC Farm.
This trend comes with good reason. In a society that is all about expressing and establishing our personal identity, food habits are no exception. Simply put, our dietary choices make a statement. Whether that statement is political, economic, social, or environmental, it will vary with everyone. Even for those who chose not to join in on this new food movement, there is one important fact we cannot ignore: our food choices greatly impact our mental and physical wellness.
With the way this movement has evolved and it’s hard to know what to think. Food has become such a trend that it’s difficult to know how you fit in. Some people might wonder how to eat well with budgets and time constraints, and many people might not completely understand the underlying truths of their consumption decisions.
There are a lot of questions floating around out there and while I won’t be able to tackle every issue, I hope to inform you as I too try to find my place in this food culture. I want to write this column to inform you on these bigger issues of our food system with a twist of lighthearted wisdom. I will cover a variety of common practices like grocery-shopping and cooking tips, as well as provide insider information on the Colorado Springs food movement, fun recipes, and dinner-party ideas. With this column, I will hopefully help you to find your place within the food chain.
Without any hippie-preaching, vegetable-loving, grocery cart-pusher nonsense*, I want to reach out to all of you and encourage you to think a little more thoughtfully about food and have fun with it!
*Since we sell all of our produce from the farm to Bon Appetit, we needed a way to get all of our produce up to campus. The last years interns suggested that we use some of our eco-fund money to buy some wagons, and somehow, a shopping cart appeared at the farm. By using the shopping carts to transport food to Rastall, we can legitimately claim “Zero food miles!”