Health checkup: The foundation of healthy ecosystems

Laura Lengnick; photo courtesy of Lengnick

Editor’s note: The following Q&A is one of several featured in this week’s Wellness, Part 2 issue.

Laura Lengnick is the founder of Cultivating Resilience, which works with organizations to integrate resilience thinking into operations and strategic planning. She is also the author of the award-winning book Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate. 

She speaks with Xpress about food’s role in our individual and collective health as well as the foundation of healthy food ecosystems and the power of silence.

What is the role our food plays when it comes to wellness? 

Food is essential to wellness because of the simple fact that we need to eat to stay alive, but food contributes to our individual and collective well-being in many other important ways. Food is a powerful connector to our past, present and future.  The choices we make about what, when, how and why to eat recall the food traditions of our ancestors, respond to the challenges of these times and shape the possibilities for our future.

How do resilient food systems impact individual and collective wellness? 

Resilient foodways promote individual and collective wellness by following the three rules of resilience to cultivate the health of land, people and community. These rules describe the kinds of relationships that form the foundation of healthy ecosystems: mutually beneficial, regionally self-reliant and regenerative.  These rules also remind us that individual well-being is rooted in the well-being of others.

What do you do to relax or unwind when stressed?

Spending time moving outside is my best remedy for stress.  A brisk walk around my neighborhood, 10 minutes of weeding in my garden or even just a quiet moment spent enjoying a cup of tea on my back porch lifts my spirit and settles my mind.



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