Greens… not just chard, are a wonderful thing. I grew up eating spinach, but that was about it. I didn’t
A friend wrote the other day that they hadn’t understood when they ate vegetables at their grandma’s that they ate vegetables because the family was poor and the vegetables were cheap. They thought they were so lucky (and, oh, weren’t they!) to be eating vegetables fresh from the garden, each according to its season.
Greens are one of those things that disappeared from a lot of people’s tables because they were poor food and they could afford to buy canned foods. It’s taken two generations to understand what convenience and marketing cost us. Greens do a body good.
And greens and beans and squashes are those foods that the world can afford to eat. I don’t know that I’ll ever give up meat. But I know that at the very least I must change the balance.
When I was in California I learned to make vegetables a much bigger part of my plate. On my move back east when people asked me what I missed, I said “talk NPR and vegetables.” (I hope they knew that I really miss my friends!) But when I think globally, I know that my meat limits the food supply. And yes, I know, it doesn’t do a lot for the animals either. Does my relationship with meat change if I take the Native American blessing ways very seriously. Certainly it makes me feel better. It does at least keep me grateful.
But I feel grateful when I live lightly upon the earth as well. And when I eat lightly. I feel better not just morally, but physically. Greens are good for us. Chard is sweet and delicious and hale and hearty.
One of the ways I learned to eat chard is in what my friend called Persian Eggs. You sauté chard and onions and garlic and tomatoes with cinnamon and cardamom and if you’re lucky summac, and then you make a nest and drop eggs in to poach. I like them still runny, mix ’em all up and that’s a breakfast! oh, yeah.
But back when my niece was a little and mentioned Swiss chard as one of her favorites, I knew that the world was listing toward better eating. I hope we still are. So, eat the chard while the garden is growing. You’ll be glad you did. Eat some chard for a more balanced world. No justice, no Peace… and everything we do has something to do with both of those things.