Thanksgiving has come just in time this year. The news of late has seemed especially grim: the Super Committee has collapsed into Super Failure, and the most-talked about “food product” of this eater’s holiday is pepper spray.
But in this week’s column, New York Times Magazine’s beloved food columnist Mark Bittman reminds us that, at times like these, giving thanks is more important than ever. His way of doing that is to push past the frustration and recognize all that’s going right in the nation’s fight for healthy, sustainable food. The resulting list is inspiring, and also ends up being a veritable who’s-who of Food and Community Fellows, projects, and alumni: Malik Yakini and Detroit Black Community Food Security Network; Brahm Amadi and the People’s Community Market; Sean Sellers and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers; FoodCorps, a project whose founders include Curt Ellis and Debra Eschmeyer; Ann Cooper; Roger Doiron; and Raj Patel.
Bittman and those whose good work he cites as inspiration remind us that, in the world of food justice as anywhere else, it is easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. As important and immediate as federal farm policy and national obesity statistics might feel most days of the week--and they are important--it’s also reinvigorating to pause and remember that transformational change begins simply, in communities like yours, with good people nurturing good ideas, with a family gathering at the table to share a meal together.
The Food and Community Fellowships exist for that very reason, after all--to recognize and nourish things in our society that are unequivocally good. It so happens that that’s what this holiday is about, too.
So Happy Thanksgiving, and here’s hoping that a little thankfulness reveals a feast of good things.