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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Slow Down for the Holidays!

By: Margaret Deller, Extension Specialist

During the holiday season many of us find there are not enough hours in the day. One of the ways we try to save time is by getting fast food instead of making dinner from scratch. And while this does add time to our days it is not the best thing for our bodies or the planet. So this holiday try pulling out of the Drive Thru lane and into the Slow Food lane.

Slow Food is a worldwide movement that started in Italy. It strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. If possible they would like you to personally know the farmer that produces your food. This sounds like a tremendous undertaking and not something you want to add to the holiday season.

Like with any change to a greener behavior, start small. Choose one night of the week, grab your kids, your spouse, your friends, or that other co-worker staying late, stop by the store and get the ingredients for your favorite recipe and make dinner together. Don’t have a favorite recipe? Check the web for a dish you like to order in a restaurant and see if you can prepare it at home.

Then let everybody help prepare the meal. Don’t leave the little ones out! Children as young as 3 can help, give them a stool and let them wash the lettuce for the salad. Give the younger ones a seat close to the action so they feel a part of it and can be taste testers. Clean the dishes as you go so there is no daunting pile at the end of the meal. Then eat together and talk about your day, your favorite food memory, or what you did for the holidays as a kid.

However you choose to start, remember that good food nourishes our bodies and sitting down to a meal with family and friends nourishes our soul.



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