If Humans Had Roots to Eat By

The average person in the average city or town still has little opportunity to see what is really in their food, let alone where it comes from… in a market dictated by shiny marketing messages, how do we re-connect with our food sources?

The Typical American Farm, Fred Meyer Grocery (Photo: Lyzadanger)
The Typical American Farm, Fred Meyer Grocery (Photo: Lyzadanger)

The supermarket is the new farm. And what a colorful field-day of sweet seduction it is.

Although humans have always maintained the ability to rationalize food supply vs consumption, there several slight glitches in our system as it stands today, beginning with a rather large glitch: we have no roots.

What does it mean to have no roots?

While we still maintain a direct connection with what is on our plate, what is in our kitchen cabinet, or what happens to be on the shelves at the  supermarket, the connection rarely goes deeper than this. It does not reach under the soil, so to speak.

Unlike plants, we are no longer truly connected in any direct sense to our sources of our food. We have effectively been uprooted by a culture of convenience built on processed, packaged foods and supermarkets.

Despite standardized government labeling, the average person in the average city or town still has little opportunity to see what is really in their food, let alone where it comes from, the scope of resources used to create that food, or how their eating habits affect the future of human sustainability. The human-food connection is nearly extinct, and it’s causing all sorts of problems ranging from health issues to environmental issues.

Plant Food Sources v. Human Food Sources (Graphic: Patrick Lydon)

The conventional idea that our food comes from the supermarket, or from a glorious green pasture, is a shiny and colorful falsehood that separates us from reality.

The truth, of course, is that our food comes from a delivery truck, which comes from a distribution center, which comes from another truck from a processing plant, which comes from a slaughterhouse, which comes from another delivery truck from a farm, which gets its feed from another farm that gets its seeds from a global manufacturer, and gets its antibiotics from another global manufacturer, most of which are essentially held hostage by rather large and wealthy corporations such as Monsanto.

This scenario is a bit heavy on the doom and gloom perhaps, but there is an amazingly bright side to this story, and it is in the choices you have, and the power you wield as a consumer of food. For now, you, your friends, and your neighbors still have the ultimate power and say in what you eat.

Here are a few simple solutions for a human/nature re-connection that are available to us, namely:

  1. Researching where food comes from and what is in it for yourself instead of trusting the shiny ‘healthy’ sticker on the package
  2. Buying more local food (see link below for help finding local producers)
  3. Growing your own food when possible

Useful Links:

Take Part Food Blog – http://www.takepart.com/food
The Eat Well Guide – http://www.eatwellguide.org
Local Harvest Finder – http://www.localharvest.org
What is Organic? – http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/what-is-organic.html
The World According to Monsanto – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH4OwBYDQe8

What are your favorite sources for local and healthy eating?

Share your answer

 

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