Work and Food

31 May

Last fall I traded some homemade salsa with one of my coworkers for a dozen eggs from her hens. This year we are taking staff trips to the local farmers market in the middle of the day, and bragging about whose CSA was what available each week. It has been a lovely way to get to know the people I work with everyday through our common connections to local places and local food.

Reading this blog post from the Official Google blog, I got thinking about the intersection of where we work and how we eat. Here is a snippet from the Google post:

Today at our Mountain View headquarters we’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of an important project: our organic garden. Not only does it provide a stunning centerpiece for the central campus; it yields produce and herbs that are used daily in the cafes on campus. Although many Googlers would like to think of themselves as Renaissance men and women, a green thumb didn’t exactly come as easily to some as C++ development might. Fortunately, the garden wasn’t just an ambitious 20% project but rather, an initiative that we took on with the partnership of The Growing Connection.

The Growing Connection is a grassroots project of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The work of the Growing Connection originates with a humble earth box, a patented growing system that helps growers to cultivate produce with limited space and water. The project really has two parts: teaching people around the world, especially kids, how to cultivate their own food, and giving them a hands-on lesson in nutrition. The latter entails connecting growers so that kids growing corn on rooftops in Harlem can share their experiences with students planting earth boxes in Ghana.

Are workplaces potential spaces to make transformative change in the way we think about our food, our relationship with the land, and our connection to each other? What if we discussed soil quality and seeds instead of TV shows and celebrity gossip around the water cooler? Could you challenge your co-workers to start an office garden?

Sound off in the comments section about how work and food intersect for you.


2 Responses to “Work and Food”

  1. Josh May 31, 2008 at 7:26 pm #

    Hey all –
    For more on Google and food, check out this speech that Michael Pollan gave on his book “In Defense of Food” at Google recently:

  2. Kevin July 2, 2008 at 11:17 am #

    Hi from a fellow Brookfield Farm shareholder! I just created a Squidoo Lens about Brookfield Farm and CSA at and added a link to your blog – your content is a great fit for people interested in CSA and sustainable agriculture.

    Now that you are having a child, if you could add some new recipes for all the vegetables at the farm that our kids will eat, that would be great!

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