Food for Thought: The adventure begins

This blog started out as a place to express the thoughts, experiences and teachings from the courses I am enrolled in through the Masters of Education in Sustainability, Creativity and Innovation from the University of Cape Breton. One of the key works of my course in Sustainability was a sustainability journal (see previous posts in this blog). There were two things that jumped out at me: the first was the amount of money and resources we spend on my Dad’s daily soup consumption. My Dad lives with us and has had a few strokes so his swallowing isn’t the best. Soups are an excellent way to go to provide nutrition and joy of eating. However, I don’t make the soups. I buy them. Good quality ones (Amy’s) as I felt guilty about not doing things in-house. Thus, not only were we consuming a lot of cans, it was costing us quite a bit of dosh!

The second was the amount of money spent and single-use-plastics tossed in the recycle bin to support our daily salad needs. We eat a fair amount of baby spinach, which can be put in salads and omelets. A number of years ago, as part of the EcoParent team, I reviewed a book on growing your own greens. I tried this out! For the book review. And then didn’t really continue it. Again, that commitment to sustainable daily practices. Slow Food, indeed!

These were two areas I thought I should change!

Enter my next course in ‘Education for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship’ where we’re asked to something creative with food that challenges us, brings us out of our comfort zone. I enjoy cooking, so the actual act of cooking, is not that challenging. What is challenging for me, currently, is time commitment to make the food choices I want. As I’ve said previously, my husband makes our own yoghurt. And he used to make our own soup (from our own bone broth!), so I’m not the only one in our household that needs to work to make sustainable and healthy choices a daily practice.

Firstly, I’m going to bring back the soup! This will not only reduce the money spent on food but also the number of cans going into the recycle each week. I also get to work with some of my favourite cookbooks again which have been sadly neglected in recent years.

I’m excited! It’s kinda like going on a canoe trip for the first time in a long time and hauling out dusty packs and getting the tent out of the basement.

My goal is to make one soup a week and to freeze at least a couple of days worth. I also want to learn how to make bone broth and I’ll get my husband to help with that. We aren’t currently vegetarian, so I’ll aim to make both chicken and beef broth (a friend has donated some beef bones for this!).

Secondly, I’m going to haul the mini-greenhouse up out of the basement and get it growing greens. I’m curious as to how much salad I can produce weekly. This is more challenging, of course, and there will be a steeper learning curve. My MEd colleague, Charlene, has an amazing growing tower in her class and there are others among our cohort who will undoubtedly have knowledge here. I have grown veggies from seed many times, so the initial set up won’t be the big challenge, it will be the production of micro-greens for the table on a consistent basis.

The third thing I am going to do, is with my son. This is a creative add-on to my other goals and is not rooted in sustainability: just pure fun. Last year, for Easter, we made a DNA molecule (guanine) out of chocolate truffles, each atom, a different type of truffle. It was so fun and soooo delicious and Gabriel loved it. He recently declared that he wanted to make a model of a cell out of chocolate. So, I’ll add that in to the Food for Thought experiments! Because: Why not! 🙂

Chocolate Guanine. Last year’s confectionary inspiration. Copyright Leigh Symonds

Thanks to Mitchell for the experience of the consumption blog. Thanks to Liz for the inspiration and support for the Food for Thought project! Thanks to all my fellow students and friends who are part of this experience!

Reference List

EcoParent. (2021). EcoParent. EcoParent.

University of Cape Breton. (2021). Master of Education in Sustainability, Creativity and Innovation. University of Cape Breton.

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