Freedom, Hope, Change

 Amber Waves of Grain

Amber Waves of Grain

We are in the middle of two soul-refreshing days, celebrating the great gifts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy, and one of the blessings of democracy: a presidential transition, this one historic and filled with hope. Even among all that grandeur, food -- local food -- will have a place. For example, when choirs and soloists sing of our beautiful America with its amber waves of grain, I take the reference to include garlic and grape, parsnip and parsley, every ingredient in burgoo, Brunswick stew, bouillabaisse, New England clam boil, seaweed salad, and 17-bean soup. I hear an expectation that we pay proper attention to the table as well as the tableau.

As President Obama inspires us to take new actions and build stronger communities, we will leap forward toward locally sustainable, self-sufficient food systems. New restaurants in semi-iffy places will be a sign of progress, and will, in turn, accelerate a sense of safety, congeniality, and improving local economies. People who need good jobs will continue turning to cooking to heal their lives and change their communities, as is the case with the ex-offenders and formerly homeless people who take part in DC Central Kitchen.

Young people and older people, too, will move toward freedom from want and poor nutrition. Already some cities are showing the way.

In future days, maybe we will have a vegetable garden or fruit orchard at the White House. Maybe Congress will improve the Farm Bill.

For now, though, I'm content, nourished by the possibilities for our beloved country and its people.

Photo Credit: melhi: Thank you!

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