As we are in the midst of this holiday season, instead of buying yet another gadget or trinket for our friends and family, why not give a gift that pays forward. A gift that has a long lasting positive effect on our local community, economy and environment. A gift that nourishes our physical, spiritual, and mental well being. Please consider giving the gift of health, life, education and giving back this holiday. These are the REAL food gift ideas that keep on giving.
Give the Gift of Health
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” - Hippocrates
Busy Foodie: A hectic life is no longer a valid excuse to not eat REAL. A gift card for these local area businesses is perfect for the busy people in our lives.
- Shopping for sustainable food never got easier. At Relay Foods you can shop online for your favorite locally-sourced foods and have it ready for pick up when and where you choose.
- Don’t want to shop but still want to cook REAL? Farm-to-table prepared meals kits are your answer. You select the meals, Eatluv sends you the highest quality locally-sourced ingredients and easy to follow recipes. Eatluv is a locally operated small business. Here’s why we love Eatluv: Review.
- No time to shop or cook? Momme Meals is a locally operated small business that offers home delivery of farm-fresh organic and all-natural prepared meals to mothers, mothers-to-be, and their families. Additionally, a box of Momme Meal Go Chews makes a perfect stocking stuffer!
Going Out Foodie: Enjoy a healthy night out and support local by purchasing a gift certificate from a restaurant listed on either Snail of Approval or Greenease. The businesses listed on these sites are committed to providing seasonal, locally sourced and sustainable food.
Give the Gift of Life
Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization with a mission “to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.” They offer a wide variety of heirloom seed packets, plants, and books that any gardener would love.
- Slow Food U.S. Ark of Taste, what better gift to give your gardener than one of 35 Ark of Taste heirloom seed packets in danger of extinction. Click here for more information about Seed Savers partnership with Slow Food’s Ark.
Back to the Roots is a sustainable small business started by two Berkeley grads with a mission, “to make food personal again through the passionate development of tools that educate and inspire, one family at a time”. Their Aquafarm and Mushroom Kit are sustainable, fun, and educational, and make the perfect gift for any member in the family.
- AquaFarm, a countertop aquaponic sustainable farming system. Who doesn’t love a self-cleaning fish tank that also grows food?
- Mushroom Kit, grow gourmet mushrooms from recycled coffee grounds in just 10 days! Take a picture of your fruiting Mushroom Kit on Back to the Roots’ Facebook Page, and they will donate a kit to an elementary classroom of your choice!
Give the Gift of Education
A book is a classic gift to give a reader. Published this year, below are some of the most popular nonfiction in health and wellness and the food movement. Support local, the authors of both Foodopoly and Gaining Ground are from the DC metro area, and go green by purchasing the e-book versions.
- Cholesterol Clarity: What The HDL Is Wrong With My Numbers?
- Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America
- Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm
- Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers
- Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us
- The Immune System Recovery Plan: A Doctor’s 4-Step Program to Treat Autoimmune Disease
- Toxic Oil
Give the Gift of Giving Back
One of my favorite gifts to give someone is an activity we can do together. Take it one step further and make it an activity that gives back to the community. It’s a win-win for everyone, plus it’s absolutely free! If the recipient is unable to participate, how about pledging your time in honor of that person. Here are just three organizations and a couple of ideas of how you can give back in the DC-metro area.
Arcadia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable local food system in the Washington, DC area. How about volunteering to work on their farm or at their mobile market?
Arlington Food Assistance Center, a community-based non-profit that provides supplemental groceries to our Arlington neighbors in need. How about holding a food drive, or volunteering to glean a local area farm?
Neighborhood Farm Initiative, a non-profit working to promote collaborative, sustainable cultivation of food in DC-metro urban spaces. How about participating in a garden workday or assisting in harvest transport?
Do you have a favorite REAL food gift idea that you’d like to tell everyone about? If, so please share by commenting below.
This post is featured on: Fat Tuesday, Fight Back Friday, Let’s Get Real Blog Hop, Natural Family Friday, Natural Living Monday, Natural Living Link-Up, Old-Fashioned Friday, Party Wave Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday, The Homesteaders Hop & Unprocessed Fridays.
Lauren Brinkac, founder of DC Healthy Bites, received a dual BS in Biology and Biochemistry from Syracuse University and a MS in Bioinformatics from George Mason University. She is currently a Lead Bioinformatics Analyst conducting bacterial genomics research of infectious disease at The J. Craig Venter Institute. Lauren hopes to use her scientific background and the latest in scientific research to guide others in making informed dietary choices to optimize their own personalized health. Click here to read Lauren’s Story.