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This post is the final in a series of posts by Heifer Senior Coordinator of School Programs Kim Machnik. If you haven't already, go back and read each week's post. Heifer Celebrates the Harvest Season: Food Systems at Home and Around the World; Finding the Source; What's Your Food Culture?; Your Choices Matter; Food on the Move.

Thismonth on the Heifer blog and out in the world, food has been the topic on thetip of everyone’s tongue (yes, pun intended!) We’ve talked about the sources offood in your community, food culture, seasonality, the impact of your foodchoices, and the food movement. It’s a lot to stomach (there I go again!), butalso too much to avoid. Putting all of this information about food choices towork for you, instead of struggling to manage it all, is possible. As we cometo the end of our month of food blogging, try integrating these simpleprinciples to put what you’ve learned into action:

  1. Food should be savored. Choose foods that aredelicious and varied, and take time whenever possible to make the cookingexperience part of your experience of food. If you can grow your own food,that’s just more time you can spend enjoying the process of food. The fartherback in the process you go, the better the food tastes! Try this cheeserecipe for an easy “from scratch” experience (I recommend seasoning it withoregano, thyme, and a little bit of salt), or use these compostingexperiments if you’re trying out a new garden- even an indoor one for thefall!
  2. Every little bit counts. You don’t have to committo eating 100% local, environmentally sustainable, fair trade foods to make adifference in your own health and the health of the planet and its people.Choose small steps and incremental changes, and give yourself credit for takingaction! Check out BothSides of a Coffee Cup, a lesson on fair trade vs. conventional coffeesourcing, and decide if that’s one first step that makes sense for you.
  3. Share the joy! Reaching out to others and encouraging your community to thinkabout food in a healthier way for people and the planet isn’t about beingpushy, a downer, or a lobbyist. All you have to do is share the best of yournew food experiences to ignite the enthusiasm in someone else. Invite a friendto the farmer’s market for the goodcompany and free samples. Experimentwith earthworms in your classroom to get students thinking about food as acycle. Bake something delicious with fruit from your neighborhoodand share it with your co-workers. If you get ambitious, think about hosting alocal lunch or a 100-mile meal (where everything you serve comes from within100 miles) at your school, church, or community center. Check out these actionideas for some thoughts on how to educate your community in a positive wayat such an event. It doesn’t take much to make people think- and have fun doingit!
Don’tforget, you can always goback to this post for tons of great ideas and resources, and reach out tous at Heifer anytime (through this blog, Twitter,Facebook, or bysending us an email) withquestions, inspiration, or wonderful stories. Our mission is to work withcommunities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth, and we thank youfor being a part of a community taking action to do just that.


Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.