Expressing Our Values Through Food Choices
By Cheri Avery Black
What Do We Know?Where does our food come from? Who (or what) grows it? What additives and processes are used, i.e. GMOs, hormones, preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics? What is life like for the growers and gatherers and processors of our food? How far does the food travel to get to our plate? Is what we eat really food? How much of our food is fresh and locally grown vs. processed, canned and shipped 1200 miles?
What Do We Believe?"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food," Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was quoted. "It is necessary for a physician to know about nature, what man is in relation to what he eats and drinks, and what will be the effect on the individual." Unfortunately, western medical training has ignored food in favor of pharmaceuticals. Our animal/agri-business industries have ignored nutrients and humane practices in favor of production and profit. In this fast-paced U.S. society, many have not stopped to ask questions nor to consider the consequences of our actions on our health, the health of others and our environment.
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What Power Is In Our Control?Fortunately there are a growing number of persons who are reclaiming the awareness that 'we are what we eat,' and that by our food choices we are greatly impacting the answers to the questions posed earlier about how we are relating to other humans, plants and animals.
We are expressing our values through our food choices. Some suggest a basic set of four rules to live by: Eat food, mostly plants, not too much, and eat only what is prepared by humans.
More are continuing to learn about how our choices impact the environment, air quality, use of fossil vs. renewable fuels. We are realizing the importance of our standing stronger against the agri-business' brutalization of animals and the workers, realizing that negative energy can also be transmitted to us through what we eat.
People are going back into (or staying in) the kitchen. We are expressing values through creative and calming presentation of whole foods, with far less salt, sugar, bad fats with no engineered cravings.
We are appreciating the conversations and relationships developed at the table. Meals help us find meaning in life and to give love through the gifts of food and sharing of the time eating together.
Our focus today is to think about the wonder of what we're eating - who grew it and where it grew as a way of saying grace. We've had a 'Great Forgetting'. We can once again remember the value and the importance of our relationship with food and pass this sacred knowledge on to our children and grandchildren. If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't!
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