In Canada, almost half of the produce tested by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency contained significant levels of pesticides, according to a report conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The modern standard of purchasing our food from mass production sources has offered us many perks but clean food is not one of them. It’s time that we take control of what goes onto our plates and into our bodies. Here are four fun hobbies you can add to your leisure list to help you live a healthier lifestyle as well as take charge of what fuels your body.
If you have ever checked the packaging information of frozen fish in the supermarket, you may have realized something. It’s really difficult to find fish caught in North America. A large portion is caught in China and shipped over, and a good percentage of fish caught locally comes from fish farms, not fresh, wild sources.
In addition to being a stress-relieving, relaxing hobby, fishing provides you with the opportunity to yield your own protein source from a clean natural body of water. And there is something truly rewarding and intimate about catching, cleaning, and consuming your food source yourself.
To get started, find out your local requirements; many cities require permits and licenses, including state and country-specific boating licenses. This is particularly important for those that travel often, especially if you’re a snowbird who leaves your hometown regularly, so that this hobby can add a new element of fun to your travels.
Gardening is one of the most fundamentally responsible and soothing hobbies for the food-conscientious individual. It’s a sensory, often spiritual hobby that connects you to your land. In gardening your own food, you control what you eat and what, if anything, lingers on your crop. Gardening can also improve one’s mood, reduce stress, and increase flexibility and mobility.
A pastime that accompanies gardening hand-in-hand is canning the produce that comes from your garden so you can make the most of your harvest.
The process of canning is very simple and easy to maintain. Fill glass jars or tin cans with water and the fare of choice then seal the container. The container is then heated and usually put under pressure. The heat and pressurization kill off any dangerous microorganisms that could potential spoil the food or cause illness. After being removed from the heat and pressurization, the air inside the jar or can is compressed and the contents sealed from outsides hazards. After sealing, the canned or jarred goods are protected from oxidization and from any new contaminants.
Home canned goods can keep for up to a year as long as they are stored away from dampness or heat, and when you can your own food, you don’t get the high levels of sodium found in grocery store canned products.
If you are fond of long walks, foraging is a natural choice of hobby that can produce some of the freshest foods available. Foraging is environmentally friendly, healthy, and it’s free! It also offers people greater knowledge and understanding of the land around them, is low-impact exercise, teaches self-reliance, and the food tastes great.
Foraging is the simple act of using what you find in nature. Not gardening is required – the food is naturally occurring. Though mushrooms are what most people think of when considering foraging, there are many more products available in Mother Nature’s grocery. Wild plants like dandelions can be collected and cooked to perfection.
The act of foraging, though, requires patience, and most importantly, know-how. Though many free-growing plants are edible, there are those that are naturally poisonous, so it is imperative to check what you find before consuming, and to know what it is that you have in your hands. A database that lists safe findings can be a foragers best friend.
You do not have to settle for heavily salted, pesticide-sprayed, foreign food sources. With a few resources and some free time, you can control what goes on your plate and the quality of fuel that runs your most precious vehicle, your body.