Food for Thought-365 Opportunities to Make a Difference

Stephanie Bishop, Contributor

Food is a basic human need. We all must eat. We eat when we are hungry and when we are not. We eat when we celebrate and to commemorate. We eat when we are happy, sad, bored and lonely. We use food to fuel our bodies for daily life and as a main element of every gathering, holiday and special occasion.

Food is on our minds constantly. We are inundated with images and offerings of food everywhere we look. TV shows, magazines, social media, fundraisers, restaurants, blogs, apps, books and games flood our senses, pull our heart strings and appeal to something hard wired in all human beings. We now understand the effects of the methods we use to produce food, have a global impact on our planet; and although we now have so much, there are still many who have none. There is much power in food.

Our food is intrinsically intertwined with our memories, emotions and deepest spiritual beliefs. Breaking bread together is much more than simply eating. Our social and family food traditions create a source of joy, a strengthened sense of community, belonging and well-being. Food brings us together, imbeds special memories in our beings, and increases our social awareness.

Think about a favorite childhood treat, a treasured family tradition, an amazing meal you had on vacation, or a package you received at work for a job well done. Why is it special? Not only do you remember what you ate, you associate a place, a time, how you felt and the people involved. Food has the magical quality of evoking more than just the memory of consuming it. It celebrates an event, marks a day and allows us to relive feelings, and remember those moments and people each time we even think about what we ate. Food makes us feel cared for, part of something larger than just eating.

Rarely do we pause to give food “food for thought”. Our sustenance is a powerful medium. It engages all of our senses, sustains life and nourishes our bodies, minds and souls. We give thanks for the gift of our meals, express gratitude and bless our crops and harvests. Ancient traditions and superstitions advised leaving gifts of food to ward off negativity, and for good luck. The tradition of giving of food as gifts is ancient and found in cultures around the world.

We use food to console ourselves and each other. We use food to observe our deepest spiritual beliefs and as sacred offerings.  We use food to raise money and help those less fortunate and in crisis. We give gifts of food as a symbol to convey love, thoughtfulness, kindness, caring, sympathy, gratitude and compassion. We give food simply so others can eat. We have the opportunity to celebrate life every day when we eat together.

Maple Ridge Farms is proud to celebrate food, 365 days of the year with food gifts and contributions to numerous community outreach programs, volunteerism and a commitment to social responsibility, environmental sustainability. Share the gift of food every day with Maple Ridge Farms.