It is hard to believe that a week ago Thursday this was my view from the Smithsonian Museum of American History as I had lunch with some wonderful farm women from across the country who were gathered for the annual CommonGround Conference. Our conference was cut short in hopes that most of us would be able to return home and not be stranded in Washington D.C. as the result of the blizzard named Jonas. It definitely added some excitement to things! I am happy to say I was back in Des Moines by noon on Friday. (I did have three books packed just in case!)
We had a few minutes during our lunch break to visit some of the exhibits at the museum. One of the exhibits I visited was the Agricultural Innovation and Heritage Archive that displayed the history of farming and even had a farm simulation to play.
Another exhibit I had the chance to see was the following:
Between 1950 – 2000 new technologies and cultural changes transformed how and what we eat.
Whether convenient, fast, organic, processed, gourmet, ethnic, or local—the foods available to Americans have never been more plentiful and diverse, or more ripe for discussion. Coupled with big changes in who does the cooking, where meals are consumed, and what we know (or think we know) about what’s good for us, the story of Americans and food in the last half of the twentieth century is about much more than what’s for dinner.
I found this interesting too as CommonGround involves having conversations about where food comes from so consumers can make their food choices based on facts and not fear.
Furthermore, I read this quote in a magazine this week and I think it ties in perfect with the things we talked about at the conference and this exhibit at the Smithsonian.
“Two out of five people change the food they eat because of food safety information they obtain. Where and how they obtain that information is critical, because if they get the wrong information, they’re going to make the wrong decisions.” Chuck Seaman, Vice-president of compliance and food protection for Hy-Vee, Inc. (A grocery store in the Midwest)
Food brings out the passion in people. We use food to celebrate and mourn.
While in Washington D.C. we did get a chance to enjoy some great food as we celebrated our time of learning from both the conference sessions and each other.
On Wednesday night some of us ventured to Old Ebbitt Grill located just a couple of blocks from the White House. The White House was beautiful as a light snow had fallen.
Some the Iowa ladies in front of our hotel which was located a few blocks from the White House.
Alicia – The Pork Diaries, Steph – LIfe on an Iowa Farm, Val – Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids, Allyson – Staff from Iowa Corn, and myself. Thanks to our Nebraska friend Joan – Dust in My Coffee for taking our picture after venturing to the Shake Shack with us! This was following our evening meal at Catch 15 where we enjoyed a delicious meal complete with great conversation. I might add – everyone at our table consumed a tender, scrumptious steak!
This week it has been back to life on the farm – where the miracle of FOOD begins!
I look forward to sharing more topics on the farm and farm to table recipes in 2016!