How Will You Positively Impact Your Food Community This Year?

January 6, 2022

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In many ways, coming into a new calendar year feels like a much needed reset. Between the unpredictability of public health and the everyday challenges that keep us on our toes, we may experience diminished capacity to be intentional about food. Our quick-paced lives may lead to grabbing a convenient snack rather than sitting through a satisfying meal, and at the end of a long week, there might be more waste in our compost bin than we would have liked. 

As we enter the new year, it’s an excellent time to refresh our commitment to contributing to a nourishing food system and setting intentions that are as sustainable as the future we envision. We invited CUESA Board members and volunteers to share some of their good food resolutions for 2022. Take a look below, and find inspiration for your own!

Eat with Intention

“My personal good food intention is to find out what I truly hunger for in this year of 2022. I want to discover what specific flavors and textures will create more joy, excitement, and peace of mind in my body and spirit. I commit and get rid of foods that no longer nourish me, holistically. I resolve to be simply and elegantly engaged in my curiosity about the world’s food system and the people that dine with me.” 
Saeeda Hafiz, CUESA Board Member and SFUSD Wellness Policy Project Manager

“My new year’s food resolution is to broaden my palate and eat cuisines from cultures that are less familiar to me. Kind of a cush goal, I know. It’s one that will be invariably delicious and adventurous. But it will also require a commitment to go outside the comfort that familiarity brings. I grew up with little exposure to the richness of cuisines outside of a euro-centric focus. As an adult I get to change that, but frankly haven’t pushed myself as much as I’d like. So this year I’m toasting to delicious exploration and a commitment to educate myself along the way.”
Christine Farren, Executive Director of CUESA

“My food resolution this year is to make time to nourish my body. It’s so easy to get ‘too busy’ to really focus on what my body needs. A quick snack here or there on the run versus actually recognizing what will optimize my life’s productivity. As an educator and a new mom, I can’t give my students and child my best if I am not filling my tank adequately.” 
Meredith Essalat, CUESA Education Committee Member and Head of School at Mission Dolores Academy

Grow or Go Local

“I recently moved into an apartment with a little bit of backyard space, so my 2022 good food intention will be to learn how to garden and try to grow some herbs and other delicious plants to use in my home-cooked meals!” 
Aaron Tidman, CUESA Board Member and Global Compliance Counsel for Pinterest

“My food-related resolution is to volunteer at an urban garden once a month. Although I do environmental work full-time, it’s almost all virtual. I believe it’s important to get my hands in the soil every so often as a grounding and very real reminder of why the work matters and how a sustainable food system can heal us and heal our planet.” 
Mackenzie Feldman, CUESA Education Committee Member and Executive Director of Herbicide-Free Campus

“I am committing to buying direct from co-ops and farmers as much as I can to circumvent the corporate food system and reduce my consumption of plastic packaging. While this practice may take more time, I find that shopping this way puts money into more people’s pockets directly, is healthy for humans and the planet and creates face-to-face interaction that is joyful and positive for well being.” 
Jessica Holmes, CUESA Volunteer

Waste Not

“My food resolution is to keep trying to reduce food waste. I felt very happy about making delicious turkey soup from the carcass after Thanksgiving for the past two years! In previous years, I had the best of intentions but then got busy and ended up throwing the carcass in the compost bin. Also, I’m trying to use veggies which may be a bit past their prime (i.e., celery that is starting to lose its crispness) in a stir-fry or a curry dish.” 
Janet McGarry, CUESA Volunteer

My primary food resolution is around waste. I’m pretty good about shopping ‘per meal’ however inevitably, every week there is something that ends up in the compost bin that could have been eaten. It really bums me out. I can and will do better.” 
Daniel Capra, Board Member and Executive Chef of Paula LeDuc Fine Catering

Invest in Essential Food Workers

“At Acme Bread we have spent the pandemic period thinking hard about how to make this difficult and demanding work sustainable and safe for the people on the front lines—our hourly workers. As the crisis unfolded and we saw how people were struggling to support their families and juggling multiple jobs even more than ever, we realized that a big part of the answer was quite simple: more money. So we committed ourselves to improving hourly wages in the New Year. As a result, we have adopted a $20/hour minimum wage company-wide and are moving all hourly staff to the tops of whatever wage range governed their position at the bakery. This is a big gamble, as it will cost over a million dollars and, along with all the other cost increases, it will require a 9.5% price increase. We’re not quite sure how that will go over, but we are quite sure that we feel better about the new wage scale than we do about anything else we have done over the past year.”
Steve Sullivan, CUESA Board and President and Co-Founder of Acme Bread

“My resolution is to continue to support the Bay Area restaurants given all the tough challenges they have faced and continue to face from the impact of the pandemic. Now with staffing challenges, escalating costs, supply chain issues, and of course the continuing concerns from the virus variants, next year will continue to be a tough one for our restaurants. By supporting them, we support our farmers and purveyors as well. So I encourage everyone to dine out or order in as much as possible. The restaurants are the heartbeat of the Bay Area —and it is our job to keep them healthy.” 
Andrew Freeman, CUESA Board Member and President of Andrew Freeman & Co

We’re in This Together

We all have things we are striving towards, and we are more likely to accomplish those goals when we share them with a supportive community. Share your food resolutions for the new year with us on Facebook or Twitter

Want to get involved in your local food community in 2022? Volunteers are vital members of our team who perform a wide range of duties such as assisting customers at our farmers markets, teaching kids to cook, and helping out behind the scenes at the CUESA office. Make new friends and get hands-on culinary, event, and nonprofit experience by volunteering your time and talents with CUESA. To learn more and join us at our online volunteer orientation on January 12, you can sign up here.

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