This I Believe

Buzz - Shoreline, Washington
Entered on February 20, 2007

I believe in good, delicious food.

I believe in slow-cooked ribs, pungent greens picked fresh from the garden, beef from cattle free to graze, eggs from chickens that know fresh air, wild salmon caught as it fights upstream and long-simmered stews, rich with character and complexity.

The best fish I ever ate was caught by my young son. I helped him attach the worm to the hook and cheered him on as he reeled it in. We pan-fried it over a campfire and marveled at our connectedness to nature.

Food connects us to the farmers and the fishermen, the ranchers, the chefs and the loved ones that cook for us at home. It connects us to friends around the table and to our ancestors who shared with us their knowledge and wisdom.

The sense of taste is much more powerful than most of us realize. When I was five years old and living in Ohio, I liked to climb the apple tree in our back yard. I never gave that tree a moment’s thought until recently, when visiting friends who own an old farmhouse way out of town. I bit into an apple from one of their trees and was instantly transported back in time to a sunny, autumn day more than forty years ago, jumping into red and gold leaves raked into enormous piles by my father.

Late every summer our family picks blackberries that grow wild near our home. We stain our hands, tear our clothes and make a huge mess in the kitchen. The pies are never as pretty as store-bought but always better and lots more fun. We bake bread together for the pleasure it gives us.

I believe in our sacred conection to the air we breathe, the water we drink and the plants and animals that we call food. This natural world sustains us physically and spiritually and I believe we are duty-bound to protect it.