By Pamm Larry
Do you know where your dinner came from?
Who did you buy it from: an anonymous corporation that creates pesticides as part of its portfolio or someone you know who grows organically? How did the grower treat the soil and water while it grew? Did the seeds come from someone who saved them to adapt them to your region so they contained the best nutrition for you? How did it get to your plate? Was it the average 1,500 miles that food travels today, in plastic wrap?
When was the last time you consciously appreciated or even paid attention to that bite of salad you put in your mouth?
We have lost our connection to our food.
How did this happen?
First, we were hunter-gatherers with a deep understanding of the effort it took to feed ourselves. Through the millennia, we have incrementally removed ourselves from the “dirty” process of growing, and then making, food.
During the past 50 years, the conscious connection to food has been so lost that many of us don’t even cook/prepare most of what we eat. It’s either cooked by someone we don’t know in a restaurant, using who knows what ingredients, or opened and popped in a microwave in a synthetic container.
It’s easy to take something for granted when it’s abundant, ubiquitous, and fairly easy to obtain. But for many, food is still considered sacred because they are more consciously connected to how it got to their bowls.
For the most part, indigenous peoples see all of nature as alive and connected. During the centuries since the Enlightenment, we in the Judeo-Christian world have increasingly looked to science to answer the big questions of life.
Until recently, science has not had the tools to measure consciousness. If the tools aren’t there to measure something empirically, then science does not recognize it as true. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true, it just means that we don’t understand it, yet.
For instance, because many of us do not know how to communicate with animals, we assumed that they were not sentient. We now know this is not true at all; it’s just that we couldn’t understand them because we don’t have the same language or have the knowledge or ability to measure their sentience.
Likewise, we have been told that plants are not aware. That’s not so anymore, because we now have the tools to measure them: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/12/23/the-intelligent-plant.
Whether you eat only plants or include other life forms, where it comes from, how it’s grown, raised, and prepared matters in ways both personal and planetary that we still don’t know how to scientifically measure. The truth is that your fork and spoon can truly change not only your personal life but also the world.
So why not decide right now to put more intention behind what you eat? To consciously understand where your food comes from, how it’s grown, and then put your actions into alignment with your personal ethics?
Food is something we all consume. It is the biggest industry in the world, far surpassing all the other biggies. And no one talks about it.
It is at the core of politics, environment, the global corporatocracy, health, water issues, social justice issues, animal rights issues, and economic issues. When you change your food, you change your impact on all of these issues.
What happens when we decide to eat only Good Food?
First—what is Good Food? It’s healthy. It’s justly produced and distributed. It’s grown in a way that regenerates the Earth and all living things. It’s resilient in times of challenge and focuses on the “unity” in community when all … all come together around a good meal. It’s about returning to a relationship with food that recognizes the sacredness of all life forms and our connection to all we eat. Ideally, it’s organic and locally grown.
What can we do to return to our roots of recognizing food as sacred? Start with you: Be conscious and be with it. Eat with sacred purpose that gives thanks for the healthy sustenance it’s bringing you.
Don’t just be a “consumer” of dead food. Consummate it with love, energy, and an acknowledgment of its sacred gift to us. Consciously celebrate life via the life forms that we are eating. Be present to all of it: See it, then smell it, taste it, and feel it, hearing all that’s going on around you.
Know where your food comes from. When we buy from our local, regeneratively based farmers, we create a sacred reciprocal trust for the health of our families and the future of our community, our food supply, and our planet. Consciously honor that sacred bond.
Revisit our assumptions and commit to what’s important to us. Local food has been rising in popularity. It’s usually perceived as a hipster, iPhone, latte sort of movement. No offense to our beloved hipster friends … we truly love you and own smartphones, too!
But it’s not a just a hipster thing. …
It’s about creating stronger communities in a fractured country. It’s about reviving our local economies, not shipping our money off to global corporate monopolies. It’s about healthier food that’s grown to replenish our families and the Earth as our home.
It’s about using seeds that are locally adapted to our microclimates so that more of us will have a better chance of surviving the coming challenges of climate chaos. It’s about being food secure in times of unrest when, at any moment, the highway might close and the three-day supply of food in our grocery stores is unable to be replenished. Local food is true homeland security.
So, then, start with you. Then support and share sacredly based, local food with your community at your meals. After those routines are strongly embedded in your daily life, join us at The Good Food Brigade (goodfoodbrigade.org) to create a new food system that is in alignment with the Earth, using science as a tool to work in service of and harmony with the Earth, not to control her. Let’s renew our cultural paradigm to one that, once again, cherishes all of life and sees the connection in all beings. Become part of a growing movement to change the world, one tasty bite at a time!
Pamm Larry is the initial instigator and chief rabble-rouser of a national local-food effort called The Good Food Brigade. The Brigade is a new organization committed to changing the world through strong local food systems based on healthy, just, resilient, regenerative, and tasty food. Be part of a million-garden movement and register your Victory Garden 2.0 at www.GoodFoodBrigade.org, where you will also find out other easy ways to change the food system one tasty bite at a time. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/goodfoodbrigade/.
To engage locally, please join us in moving Butte County to a more local food system via Butte County Good Food Network. Like us on Facebook to keep up with our adventures in eating and community: https://www.facebook.com/ButteCountyGoodFoodNetwork/.