A number of articles in this edition of Green Fire Times make clear that our predominant food system needs some major re-invention. And so, thanks to a collaboration with the Farm to Table organization, we have provided a glimpse into many of the efforts being undertaken statewide to provide affordable, nutritious, culturally appropriate food to our region; food that is seasonally grown and raised with eco- and climate-friendly methods; and processed and distributed as close to home as possible, benefitting both rural and urban communities and revitalizing agrarian communities with legacy-defining crops and cuisine.

 

Communities in our region were once intensely focused on their agriculture: It was the source of livelihood for a majority of residents, either directly as producers, or as providers of supplies. We have now raised generations of children who have no idea where there food comes from and who have never visited a producing farm or livestock operation. Farm to Table and its partner organizations are actively working to change this. Of particular note is the “Healthy Kids-Healthy Economy” legislation that is pending in the 2013 New Mexico Legislature. Passage of this bill would give our public schools additional funds to buy New Mexico-grown produce for school meals and benefit our communities at many levels.

 

What is clear is that all of us as eaters are the critical component of this change. Our food choices have an impact that reaches across the planet. By buying local we support the livelihoods of our neighbors, the preservation of farmland and our local ecology, our own health and the health of our communities. From the flowering fruit trees in the spring to the aroma of roasting chiles in the fall, our food is, of course, essential, though we often take it for granted. Take notice and know that by buying a local apple you are supporting everything you love about living here in New Mexico.

 

Seth Roffman