Friday, May 22, 2009

Raw Food Ruminations

Last weekend was our first experience with CSA--a colleague from the department was giving up her spot with this particular group, and we were more than happy to fill it. The basket was excellent: kale, chard, lettuce mix, radishes, bok choy, arugula, mustard greens, spinach--the woman who signed it over to us joked about the two of us not being able to finish off the produce in a week's time, but I don't foresee that problem. We have also recently discovered a fruit and vegetable market not too far away from where we live (the produce there is almost half the price of Kroger's); and although Kroger is closer, I foresee more trips to the other, more friendly place (which also has better produce). Thus, with summer almost upon us, and with this abundance of fruit and vegetables, I've been thinking more and more about eating raw.
Last summer, Matt and I ate raw for a week, with a juice fast in the middle of that week, and it was a good experience--at the end of the week, I was ravenous, and had an altogether different appreciation for food. I remember going to a farmer's market then, on the third day of the juice fast, and buying a loaf of sourdough dill bread, and holding it in my hands on the way home, smelling the bread through the plastic and holding it close to my face--how I loved that bread then, when I was hungry, and beyond that, I love good bread. Bread has been, without exaggeration, a cornerstone of my life: growing up in Tajikistan, I remember the naan-like bread we waited in line for; in Belarus--I was sent to the store (I was 7 years old!) for black bread, which I've missed so much here in the States.
It was only a year and a half ago that I started making my own bread. I had set a few goals for myself, in terms of baking, and have met them: successfully made a loaf of bread (for some reason, my loaves were sub-par for a long time), made marbled rye bread, then the green onion bread from a previous post. (I know, this is quite a digression from the subject, but yes, bread is important. Also, I don't quite know how to approach the subject, except in a round-about way.)

I've been looking at a few raw food blogs, and following Gena's blog more closely--and have been thinking about giving raw food a try--maybe for a week or two. I have the resources for it, and it will do the ol' body good. Moreover, eating raw makes people--both the ones doing it, and the ones who surround the person, friends and family--aware that food is a matter of choice, and that the choices made when it comes to food are important. This is what attracted me to veganism in the first place--the ethical implications, the fact that it was within my power to change not just myself, but something bigger as well. My transition to veganism was an easy one, both because I am in a relationship with a vegan, and because I was very ready to make the change, even before I knew anything about it. I only wish that I had become vegan sooner, rather than being stuck in a mode of thinking that is actually fairly common, I've come to find--the thinking that says, "Oh, but eating meat and dairy is what I've always done, therefore, I cannot imagine not doing it," or even better, "I am only one person, and anything I change about my diet won't have a big enough impact." Eating is an action with consequences beyond a single individual, and it should be a conscious decision with awareness of implications, with every meal. I think that's why I like Gena's blog, and especially the title of it--one doesn't just fall into veganism or eating raw; it is a choice, an active participation. Also, for me, eating raw and fasting is a way to remind myself of the choices I make the rest of the time--veganism has become pretty normative to me, and it's not something I want to take for granted.
I don't think, however, that eating raw all the time is a viable option for me--my relationship with bread is a strong one. I love bread, unapologetically. I think that there may be a follow-up to this post some time in the future, when I have my thoughts a bit more collected For now, I will go and put away the CSA goodies from this week.
(This is last week's basket, but this week's was pretty similar--a lot of greens, but with the added bonus of broccoli and garlic scapes!)

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