A Magazine about the Hudson Valley’s local economy, published by Hudson Valley Current.

Daddy Debrief: Food Security

When the pandemic hit New York state, the first food item I thought of stocking up on immediately was flour. Then beans and rice. And judging by the shortages at the grocery store, so did a lot of other people.

I make and eat lots of bread. When I was in my twenties I got through some very lean times with little more than bread, beans, and rice.

Beans and rice supposedly form the perfect protein. And bread makes toast. What more do you need?

Then it became apparent that there is really no shortage of food resources, just uneven demand causing temporary supply chain disturbances. Or people buying in bulk so they don’t have to go to the grocery store as often.

But going through this time does make one re-evaluate preparedness and teaching your child to be prepared. A big part of that is learning where food comes from and how to preserve what you have.

What effect is the pandemic going to have on our future food supply?

When I think of food security, I think of being self-sufficient.

I love the idea of growing everything you eat, but having actually attempted it a few times, and having grown up on a farm where we did do that at times, I am well aware of the investment of time it takes to plant and maintain such a garden. Although in quarantine there’s nothing but time…

We have been members of a CSA for a couple of years now. And supporting a local farmer who is passionate about growing good food feels like a great trade-off.

Knowing that our CSA is still operating during this time gives us a sense of security.

When I was a kid, I remember my mom whipping up meals for our family of eight during times when it seemed like there was no money to buy anything. Because she diligently preserved food when there was a bounty, canning and freezing until all the mason jars had been filled and the deep freeze was packed to the gills.

She kept a supply of food staples and knew exactly what to do with them.

Learning how to grow food or gather it sustainably, as well as learning to preserve and prepare it, is part of food security.

Erin and I have made a conscious effort to include it in our homeschooling with Finn.

We’ve always baked together, but we are starting to incorporate more complex cooking skills as he gets older.

During our quarantine, we have of course made plenty of bread. But the unexpected favorite among Finn and his buddies is homemade pasta.

I had purchased a hand crank pasta machine years ago and we’ve used it a number of times making linguine mostly.

In our efforts to become more adventurous, quaranteaming with the family next door, we’ve been making ravioli.

For a parent there is nothing more satisfying at mealtime than seeing your child eat their food without complaint. 

Watching these little boys all make their ravioli like elves in a kitchen and then gobble them down a few minutes later is beyond gratifying.

Hopefully it’s an ability they’ll remember and add to their skill set.

On their way to food security.