Food is Love

By Shamira Wilson

For me, food is a love language. Putting together a recipe. Recreating a family dish. Sharing a meal in community with friends and neighbors. And the moment when someone tastes a dish and there is silence, only mouths chewing, and smiles. Or dancing in dining chairs. You know it’s good. 

Yes, sharing food as love is a thing we can do for those we care about. And also nourishing ourselves with nutrient dense food is a way to show love to ourselves. I believe that the love we show ourselves radiates outward and impacts those around us.

On this leg of my farming journey I’m thinking about how food, and farming in community, can be restorative. I was drawn to the Growing Community Practitioner program at Growing Places Indy to continue a praxis and ethic of care and nourishment. This year, I’m thinking more deeply about a culture of care. Can it exist? What does it look and feel like? How do folks feel within it and around me?

On my current journey with health and weight lifting, I have experienced a mindset shift from what needs to be lost, which usually applies to body fat, to what can be gained – muscle. I think about that often with food, too. There are times within our relationship to food that there can be an emphasis on what someone needs to remove from their diets. I want to shift that to also think about what we can gain from trying new foods, and creating an experience around that process itself that is joyful, exciting, and nourishing.

For example: Have you ever tried okra raw? Next time you come across a fresh pod, I encourage you to try it! It might change your life, or at least maybe your palette and your gut biome. 

Gut health impacts our whole body health from our immune response regulation to our brains. I’m excited to share new food varieties and dishes within the community and to think about all of the ways we can prepare some of the simplest ingredients. 

This Winter, my farming partner and good friend, Manón Voice, and I are traveling to the Caribbean to participate in an immersive Afro-Caribbean farming program. Upon our return we plan to host a gathering to share about this unique immersive experience, and how we plan to activate what we learned. We know that community is essential in doing impactful work around food justice, food access, and food sovereignty, but the community is also essential to the work of mind and body healing, belonging, and reclamation, all of which we hope to integrate into our present and future work around food, farming, and wellness. 

We are asking for support in the form of donations, to support our participation in the immersive program. Donations can be made at the link below:

Fundraiser to Support Participation in an Immersive Afro-Caribbean Farming and Sustainability Program