Meet your meat
On so many levels, I am glad that the “food revolution” has begun to sink in. I surely wouldn’t say that everyone has signed on, nor do I believe there’s been enough of a revolution (that’s the anarchist in me I suppose), but I am personally glad I don’t seem like such a crank now. Lots more work needs to be done: lots more movies and books, lots more profitable small farms, lots more awareness, period, that our food system is neither sustainable nor particularly healthy. In Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ steps, I would say that we’re still collectively in Denial, maybe moving toward Anger.
Having run through all those steps myself, I do wonder what the next collective level of awareness will be. Don’t you? The food revolution, at the very least, has a tasty payoff. Living life with less of what we have because, well, we’ll have to, is not something so easily changed, like just replacing our lightbulbs. There’s lots of other half steps that will need to be taken, lots more bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.
But I still wonder what will be next. I do foresee the day when my grandchildren or maybe our great-grandkids marvel at the idea that we flush perfectly drinkable water down our toilets. There is so much in our world that is good, but so much more that is simply wasteful and wantonly short-sighted. And that is it, I suppose. We were in the dark for so long about our food: what else are we ignorant of? What surprises lie ahead for us as individuals, as a society? And, perhaps more importantly, what are we going to do about it?
I’m thinking that healthcare is going to follow food. It almost has to, with the diminishment of resources and the knowledge of how to eat, individual health preservation has to follow.
Preach it girl!
I think others are getting on board… although it seems to come down to taking a candid look at the way we live our lives, and surrendering that holiest of pursuits: “convenience”… something you’ll have to pry out of most Americans’ hands.
That Food, Inc. movie has a website that lists resources like a society for making school lunchches healthier, etc. Check it out.
I love this: ” In Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ steps, I would say that we’re still collectively in Denial, maybe moving toward Anger.” And this: “I do foresee the day when my grandchildren or maybe our great-grandkids marvel at the idea that we flush perfectly drinkable water down our toilets.”
I myself marvel at the fact that most of the toilets in this country contain precious drinking water. Maybe things will start moving fast once we get to the acceptance phase. Wonder how long that will take us?
hee hee hee…I’ve been taking the water I use to wash lettuces and greens, and using it to water my hanging baskets and ferns on the porch. Maybe I’m not as crazy as I thought…I’d love to get an engineer or two to figure out how to recycle “grey” water into the toilets 🙂
Great editorial. I teach first grade and last year I created a cooking program based on local, in-season fruits and vegetables. Each week we cooked something from my garden, someone elses garden or fresh in-season produce. I tried to come up with kid-friendly recipes and was thrilled when the kids enjoyed eating vegetables and fruits they had never eaten before. My thing is converting the next generation to local, organic produce, one class at a time.
I agree that there will come a time in the not too distant future when the next generation will wonder why previous generations left them with so little. I find it sad that until faced with major health problems, food shortages, serious environmental issues and so on, the masses refuse to change.
We are so blessed to live in America. We have the freedom of choice unlike many if not most other people in the world. If we, as a collective, refuse to eat junk food from McDonald’s and demand fresh organic gourmet food they will comply, they have no choice. If we all refuse to buy toilets that are not set up for grey water those corporations will change their design. Our consumer driven economy could provide us with an immense amount of power over many of today’s issues, but we all have to be on the same track.
I have to question whether people will skip the angry stage and go straight to the acceptance stage…if they are not already there. My wife and I are very healthy individuals. Both sides of our family are fully aware and agree with our thoughts and ideas regarding health and nutrition, although they do waver on environmental issues. Both sides, while thoroughly amazed by our gardening endeavours show very little interest in eating the food. We hear things like – it takes too long to prepare, the tomato skins are too thick and don’t taste like the ones in the store (yuck), I hate onions and peppers, I don’t like this, I don’t like that… We are very tactful and not at all preachy so as not to push them away from our ideas, but they just don’t seem to get it… or care…denial?
We watch as their health steadily declines, and listen as they complain about their many ills, but refuse to make any changes. I have noticed this pattern with so many people…acceptance?
So, our obligation is to change the things that we have some control over. Things like our own health and that of our grandson’s. He will have at least been exposed to real food and have a basic understanding of health and nutrition even if he does fall into the “easy food” trap later in life. Our other obligation is to walk as lightly on the planet as we can and continue to learn and improve each and every day. To move forward, not backwards. To gladly share with others any information on these many topics that we might posses…even if it does fall on deaf ears.
Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts (rants).
I’ve always been astounded that, since I was a kid with a part time job, I’ve always managed to ‘just get by’ on what money I made. As years went by, the pay increased… as did the expenditures. Kids came and went, and somehow we always made due with what we made… or had. In the last several years I’ve made the change to growing my own food, raising hogs & chickens, for eggs and meat, canning everything possible, and only visiting the traditional grocery to bulk up on things like butter. Somehow, I think this country does the same thing… we always got by with so much less, being spoiled with a higher income for the last century or so has only served to make us expect things to get better all the time. Sad that my kids don’t get it. I think everyone needs to ‘render their own lard’ for a wake up call.
…are you raising pigs now? If so sign me up for the first pig-pickin and we can argue eastern NC versus Texas BBQ until we slaughter.
Sing it sista!
Cute pigs btw :b
Concerning the water, I’ve always felt that from the smallest to the biggest moves we have made on our always in the state of development homestead, our humanure toilet and composting is one of the most profound.
Stef, you might be right. Health in this country is so very much tied to diet that it’s a natural progression. What’s so sad is people think “well there’s a pill that will help me,” when in actuality they’re killing themselves slowly with every forkful. This post came directly after a hospital visit to a dear relative so it’s really on my mind.
Thanks, Abbie. I confess I don’t know how to slay the dragon of convenience, other than to say growing, preparing and cooking your own food is really its own reward. I don’t think convenience buys any more time for anyone, but I could be wrong. All I know is I love cooking dinner with my daughter every night.
Milkweedy, I have no idea how long it will take us to get there. I was really intrigued by a book review recently in the NYTimes of how disaster unites people, rallying them to common purpose. Not that I am itching for disaster (far from it), but there’s something there, you know? Long slow disasters like global warming just aren’t shocking enough to elicit a reaction in most people.
Karen, that’s really all there is to it, just a bit more plumbing. I’ve done greywater recycling in a couple of projects. Some folks just can’t get beyond the “ick” factor of using their toothpaste water in their toilets, a pity. So yeah, you’re a forward thinker!
Hi JoAnn. That’s great! It’s my experience (with my own kid and with doing the school snack and gardens) that kids will gladly eat anything they have a hand in making. It’s that investment thing. What a wonderful project you’re doing in your classes! Exposure, likewise, is so important, especially early on; 6-7 year olds have enormous capacity for both doing things and retaining what it is they’ve learned, as you well know.
Mike, that’s not a rant. Tom’s brother refuses to eat our eggs (“too yellow,” he says) and I just shake my head: pearls before swine, I think. Fortunately he’s the only one in the family who isn’t on board. Leading by example and not being too pushy will bring folks around, or it won’t. Your grandson hopefully will know the difference!
Hi Dan. Very prescient of you, your observations. I agree that much of American life is “just getting by,” as I don’t think drive-through food and television are terribly nourishing and are actually rather impoverishing. So is living off credit. It is too bad that we’ve all swallowed the fiction that things will ALWAYS get better, because “better” is unsustainable if it means convenience over everything and that one’s salvation is found through the doors of a mall.
Ah, Teem, no, though they’re on the 10 year plan. Shawna who commented below is the proud owner of those three little piggies. You know, though, we had a “pork picnic” (arm of pig) last year and I made barbecue sauces from NC and SC side by side; I won’t let you know which I preferred but they were both quite great.
Shawna, yeah, it was a fun Sunday at your place, left me thinking. I told Tom about your composting toilets: I thought he’d be slightly freaked out but instead he was really intrigued. And considering how Pro Compost I am, well…next step, you know?
Yahoo! I don’t know when you began this, but we have been on the serious track for about six years now. Teeny tiny particles of awareness began as far back as 1995 for me, but I had a LOOOOOONG way to go before I was really ready to understand, embrace the paradigm shift, and then really stick to life changes.
The number of people I know and meet who think I am crazy, weird, nuts, misguided, or just plain ridiculous tells me that there is soooooo much work more to be done in spreading the word. I don’t push down throats, I just inform and move on.
But I am amazed at the sheer numbers of people who not only don’t want to hear, but want to CHANGE ME. People cannot stand when one is eating differently than they are, and when I read every label and turn my nose up at Frankenfood, they just shake their heads and begin the lecture.
I only eat whole, real, pure, clean foods. That is what I want to eat. Some markets do not even carry one item that I would find acceptable to consume. I feel bad for the people who have to shop in those. I want real, whole food available to ALL at an affordable price. I love to grow my own food because it means that I am not breaking my wallet to buy food I can ill-afford at Organic Market Premium prices. We forgo many things to eat healthy foods. Thanks for your blog. Sorry this turned out long.
p.s. I only grow organically (I think that term is too bureaucratic) and I try to only eat organically. We have curbed eating out drastically (and cutting more and more as time goes on) because the food at most restaurants is not on par with what I find acceptable to have in my kitchen or my body.
On a non-food-growing but parallel track, I was listening to the traffic noise one night as I lay in bed. Not all that loud for a big city, but I live in what used to be a small town, and it’s gone from population 14,000 to 80,000+ in the 38 years I have lived here.
My husband and I used to sleep outside in the summer. It used to be almost silent at night and the stars were amazingly bright. Now we sleep inside, see the stars less well because of city glow, and listen to cars on the distant highway even in the wee hours.
I am a musician and noise pollution bothers me more than most, perhaps. I HATE with a passion those horrible ‘leaf blowers’ and look forward to the day they are banned, banned, banned.
But what I was thinking as I lay there that night was: won’t it be great when all cars are electric (or whatever) and therefore SILENT? And it won’t be that long: 10 years? less?
Aaaaah, I can hear the silence already.