What Can We Do?

As we read the news, witness changing climates, and experience our own daily struggles to access healthy, affordable, good food, we are left wanting to know, what can we do to transform this crazy food system? Or, at the very least, how can we find ways to cope with living within it?? Mark Menjivar‘s blog (from where our earlier refrigerator post originated) offers a starting point for constructive action.

What can one do? Here is a list, probably not definitive:

1. Participate in food production to the extent that you can. If you have a yard or even just a porch box or a pot in a sunny window, grow something to eat in it. Make a little compost of your kitchen scraps and use it for fertilizer. Only by growing some food for yourself can you become acquainted with the beautiful energy cycle that revolves from soil to seed to flower to fruit to food to offal to decay, and around again. You will be fully responsible for any food that you grow for yourself, and you will know all about it. You will appreciate it fully, having known it all its life.

2. Prepare your own food. This means reviving in your own mind and life the arts of kitchen and household. This should enable you to eat more cheaply, and it will give you a measure of “quality control”: you will have some reliable knowledge of what has been added to the food you eat.

3. Learn the origins of the food you buy, and buy the food that is produced closest to your home. The idea that every locality should be, as much as possible, the source of its own food makes several kinds of sense. The locally produced food supply is the most secure, freshest, and the easiest for local consumers to know about and to influence.

4. Whenever possible, deal directly with a local farmer, gardener, or orchardist. All the reasons listed for the previous suggestion apply here. In addition, by such dealing you eliminate the whole pack of merchants, transporters, processors, packagers, and advertisers who thrive at the expense of both producers and consumers.

5. Learn, in self-defense, as much as you can of the economy and technology of industrial food production. What is added to the food that is not food, and what do you pay for those additions?

6. Learn what is involved in the best farming and gardening.

7. Learn as much as you can, by direct observation and experience if possible, of the life histories of the food species.

What do you do?

Foodism

Ever heard of ‘foodism’?  Sounds like buddhism with a food-y twist.  As I walked around Montreal, I was so pleased to stumble across this painted on the exterior wall of a building on St. Laurent, and the latter one inside a vegetarian restaurant called Lola Rosa.  Montreal’s got mindful food on the mind and on the walls!

Raisin Meditation

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Raisin Meditation

This photo was taken at our first PeaceMeal workshop in Colorado in February 2013. This week, our first online cohort of PeaceMeal students are working through a module on inner peace and food. They are also practising the raisin meditation. Join them by listening to the guided meditation suggested here.

The Last Diet You Will Ever Need

There’s something seriously flawed about our food system, and so many of us are sick or struggling as a result.  But need it be so difficult?  Mark Hyman discusses the opportunities provided by a real food diet, a simple alternative to fad diets and passing food trends.  This article is a republication of an article published on June 3, 2012, by The Huffington Post (additional photos and images).

 

Why is it that we believe we can feed our bodies industrial, nutrient-depleted food-like substances empty of life and be healthy? How did we come to believe that food industry chemicals and processing could replace nature-made foods?

 

Paying It Forward: Karma Kitchen and Seva Cafe

In a world of increasing individualism and a widely-perpetuated myth of scarcity, a wave of people and projects are recolonizing spaces to encourage service, celebrate abundance, and to foster and practise generosity.  This post was drawn from content on The Global Oneness Project, the Karma Kitchen, and the Seva Cafe websites.

Imagine a restaurant where there are no prices on the menu and where the check reads $0.00 with only this footnote: “Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those who dine after you.”

That’s Karma Kitchen, a volunteer-driven experiment in generosity.

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Toronto’s Community Cannery

There’s maybe nothing better, in my humble opinion, than making food among friends.  The process of working together, cooperating to get something accomplished, tasting, adding, sharing kitchen wisdom, problem-solving, and the inevitable laughter and conversation that comes from it all is deeply satisfying and brings me a sense of personal peace I find in very few other places.

On Wednesday, July 11, I attended my first session as a member of the community supported orchard of the West End Food Co-op‘s Community Cannery.   This project is a unique feature of the emerging Toronto-based food co-operative, and an empowering concept in the wake of disappearing canneries across the country.

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