No matter the plan... we all Blog to Lose!
I've moved on to the organic section of Omnivore's Dilemma and as a result I'm feeling little hippyish as a result. Okay, a lot hippyish; so please bear with me.
Food is a powerful part of our civilization. Up until pretty recent history population sizes were greatly effected by the abundance or scarcity of food. Food is our energy, and it literally connects us with the larger world. Edible plants are the ultimate form of solar energy for humans; they convert the sun's energy into usable calories for animals to survive on. When we eat plants, we are ingesting the sugars that were converted from sunlight. When we eat meat, that animal's energy can be traced back to plants somewhere along it's food chain. So we are all connected.
Somewhere along the line, mostly in the past hundred years or so, we lost that thread. As a population we were previously more aware of the importance of food, and the problems that arise when it's scarce. In modern America, even people who are malnourished do not actually go without food. We may not eat the right types of food, but something is still available to put in our collective bellies. But the fact that what we eat connects us to other living things, I think we may have lost that as a culture. A lot of times it's hard to look at your average prepackaged snack and see anything reminiscent of nature, so it's easy to forget that as a living creature we consume other forms of life, plant or animal, to survive. Food comes all wrapped in plastic and from a store now, not whole and from the earth.
I remember as a kid my father showed me a type of heart shaped clover that grew everywhere around our house. The leaf itself tasted somewhat like sour apples, and I remember being surprised that I could eat something growing wild right off the ground. My parents had a vegetable garden, so I sister and I knew that connection of food and the earth, but eating wild plants out of the lawn? That was a lot for my little noggin to absorb. Something similar to that lesson comes to mind with the studying I've been doing. When I take a moment to think about the food I eat, and the events that had to take place before it gets to my table, it becomes a lot easier to make healthy choices. It's easier for me to make that connection back to the bigger world when I'm eating something recognizable in nature. For example taking a few minutes to eat an orange while watching a sunset. It sounds silly as all get out, but there is something simple and happy in that little event. Moments like that nourish the body and the soul for me and help make the connections between my little internal world and the greater one around me.