From Nature to your Plate

In an age of globalization, technology and busy schedules, lifestyles have quickly become shaped by convenience. Smartphones have numerous capabilities to allow individuals to multitask using a single device. The food industry has responded to the increasing demand for convenient foods as pre-washed salads, preprepared dinners and microwaveable meals occupy a large portion of store shelves.  As a full-time grad student also juggling part-time jobs and extracurricular activities, I am certainly no exception to this trend. Starbucks is the source of my morning caffeine-fix, and I often rely on Glasshouse’s preprepared food in between classes. As this type of convenience-based attitude continues to dominate, society has become increasingly desensitized on food origins and processes.
One of the first activities in Grenada was a tour where we learned about island history. In addition to education and tourism, agriculture plays an important role in the Grenadian community.  Here are some interesting facts:
1. Farming:
Farming practices in Grenada are vastly unique due to the country’s mountainous terrain. Spice trees grow wild within a certain geographic areas and farmers often have to climb trees or search the floors in order to gather the spices. The terrain prevents the use of machines to assist and most farmers on the island are at least 60 years old. All of these factors highlight the complexity of spice farming and justify why spices are so expensive.
2. Multiple uses of nutmeg:
Nutmeg has a dominating presence on the island. Nutmeg taken directly from the tree has multiple uses. There is a hard, outer shell. Inside, mace surrounds the inner seed and is used as a spice. The inner seed is cracked open, where the shell is used as fuel and the inner contents is the spice sold on shelves.
As a result, I left with a renewed appreciation for food origins. So, next time take a moment to notice where your food comes from. What you discover may be surprising.

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