Collective food sharing and food swapping is on the rise, and for good reason.
Over a dozen cities are doing it and more are catching on to this new trend. It should come to no surprise that Philly is riding this wave, after hosting its 1st Philly Food Swappers gathering two years ago. It may be worth your while to stay tuned in to Philly Food Swap for the next gathering.
It’s so Philly. It’s all about what’s homegrown, homemade, home foraged. It’s where currency is in the craft, and the only paper, plastic, and metal found is in the packaging. It’s a great way to experience a variety foods all in one location by people whose intention is simply to exchange their energy and get their hands on some good food. It may be a sign of things to come.
Food swapping is a way to reclaim our role as creators and consumers in the food system. On a monthly or bi-monthly basis, depending on where you live, you can make a dish, a condiment, or a baked good, go to a food swap and exchange it for another food item of your choosing. Sure, there may be a little paperwork in between, but such a small task in the process of “giving what you get”. Food swapping is also a great way to lessen waste, by only exchanging for what you want or need. A sure way to empower and put more value in local farmers, aspiring chefs, home cooks, busy families, and all who are a part of the community. And it definitely supports LOCAL.
In a recent article by Dr. Hyman, Why Cooking Can Save Your Life, he speaks of the power of collective intelligence and how “the community is the cure”. He expands on the current state of our nation’s health and is adamant about reclaiming our power: Our power in the kitchen. Many of us have lost our way in the kitchen, and the effects of not knowing how to “get down” in the kitchen have become obvious. Food swapping may be the next best thing, or at least a stopping point along the way of reclaiming our natural cooking selves.
While food swappers may not be sharing the same cooking space, they are sharing the end result. And sometimes that’s what’s most important or needed. Food swapping and food sharing is definitely one way to approach food more collectively. It’s also a way to fuel creative culinary juices, remedy the constraints of time, and diversify the palate. It may even save you money!
Each city subscribes to their own formula or guidelines for food swapping. Try visiting these sites to learn more:
Northwest Philly Parents is a partnership between Newsworks and Germantown Avenue Parents.