Earning Farmgirl Sisterhood Merit Badges
1. Know Your Food
- Write a food journal for a month to observe more closely your eating habits. Do you know where your food was grown? Read labels. Read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. (The book required for this badge is available on loan from MaryJanesFarm; contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- Become a sprout farmer. For further instructions, see "MaryJane’s Ideabook." (This book is available on loan from MaryJanesFarm; contact email@example.com.)
- Find 10 new ways to incorporate more fresh fruit and veggies into your family’s diet on a regular basis like in school or office lunches.
- Eliminate all hydrogenated oils and artificial sweeteners from your diet.
- If you already do all of the above, find one person that you can help do likewise by inviting yourself to dinner in their home or yours and giving them an evening food/pantry lesson complete with dinner.
- Make a pact to increase how much organic food you eat by 25%.
- In your food journal, write down all the names of your local CSA’s, their phone numbers, and membership costs. Join one if possible.
- Replace a dessert a week with an unsweetened fruit dish. Help your family appreciate more natural and unprocessed food in your diet.
- Eliminate all High Fructose Corn Syrup from your diet.
- If you already do all of the above, find two different families that you can help do likewise by inviting yourself to dinner in their home (bringing all the ingredients) and giving them an evening food/pantry lesson complete with dinner. Read “Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan (The book required for this badge is available on loan from MaryJanesFarm; contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- If you are a member of a Farmgirl Chapter, share information on how your local CSA, Farmer’s Market, Food Co-op, Natural Market, etc., impact the local economy and your personal health. Some ideas to consider are: what pesticides are they helping you to avoid; how do genetically modified, hydrogenated, and synthetic ingredients adversely affect your health and what are local organizations doing to help people avoid these ingredients.
*Note: By the time a S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) child is five years old, she or he will have consumed more than seven pounds of food additives—preservatives, emulsifiers, lubricants, bleaching agents, synthetic sweeteners, flavor enhancers, and artificial colors and flavors.
- Buy organic and locally grown foods as much as possible. Shoot for a 50% LOCAL organic diet. Talk with local food growers and artisan food makers (bread, cheese…) and find out where your food comes from, from the ground up. See if they will let you interview them. Send the interview to local papers.
- Advertise and teach a free evening class offering your methods for how to “change your diet, change your life!”
- Read “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan.
January, 2008 Edition