This example of an Ag Essay (details about the contest, here) was written by Chase Leyden. Chase is a junior at Covenant Christian High School and spent two weeks as an intern with the Indiana Humanities Council.
Food for Thought-Our Food, Our Farmers
Food has always been such a contributing factor to my life in varying degrees. Whether it be, my mother who insists on taking twenty five different vitamin supplements while devouring her organic green smoothie or the cooking endeavors I take whilst I have the time and the appetite. Being exposed and brought up with the idea that food can serve as a prominent outlet in a person’s life, I have seemingly just begun to develop and understand its pertinence.
For the longest time I had rejected this idea that food is more than just nourishment. I used to view food as solitarily, a resource for energy. Foods effects on a person are clearly greater than that. Whether or not one embraces it but the idea that food brings us together, as cliché as it may sound the idea has epic validity. If you think about it there are certain things that all humans must do in order to stay alive. The major and most obvious thing that all humans must do, is eat. Eating can maintain the mind, fuel the body, and restore the soul. Of most vital importance, in my belief, is the ingredients put into the food that we eat.
Personally, I have been to many farmers markets and exotic grocery stores. The most important thing in food to me is the quality of the ingredients. The quality of the ingredients can brighten up a meal as well as your life. Once the realization and connection of good food and quality ingredients is made, you can very easily gage yourself into thinking, “Well, how do I achieve quality ingredients? What defines quality?” Quality can be derived when you think about the items origin. This idea exalts the idea of eating locally grown organic food. In Indiana, we fortunately have several farmers associations and unions that support the growing need for fresh ingredients. As a formerly self declared “fast food junky” I would like to first state that not only did I not find pertinence in the idea that fresh food is best food but I thought it was worthless to spend so much time and energy on something that is going to be literally devoured. I didn’t fully realize the importance until I started a vegetarian and organic diet. I focused mainly on simple food because I really thought that I needed a change in my general lifestyle. Organic locally grown food and store bought widely distributive food are directly comparable seeing as how I started out with major grocery stores and then drifted towards locally grown food. There was a tremendous improvement on how I felt and the over all enjoyment of the food once I had realized I desired locally grown food.
Not as clearly shown but still evident is the fact that purchasing locally grown food can drastically help the local economy. If you eat locally grown food it can potentially improve the lives of the farmers, you know where your money is going. Peace of mind is what I think of when asked “what is the main reason you should eat locally grown food?” Eating food locally has been proven healthiest and the safest way of distributing organically grown produce. In my story it was proven to be the most enjoyable experience as well. Appreciation and recognition of local food can affect the world in a drastic and positive manner. While we look out for our local distributors we are contributing to our economy and are helping our local farmers do their jobs. Local food can affect our lives on a global scale.