Not choosing convenience and expediency

Increased life and spiritual satisfaction can come from a line of small wholesome choices.

When we started our mindful living project I knew I would come up against deciding not to pull the trigger so routinely on the things that offer convenience in my life.  Like most 21st century Americans I have acquired a pretty “busy” life.   Long work day? Ok, I’ll eat out.  No time to do that?  Ok, there are snacks at the gas station, etc.  Deciding to put aside much of that convenience has meant that I have to plan my life better — I have to engage my life more directly.  Plan the lunch, cook the meal, pack the meal, take the meal, and actually use the meal I packed, etc.

Those are first layer realizations.  They constitute the stuff of daily life.  Second layer realizations include choices I could make to foster convenience.   Packaged, this.  Pre-cooked that, etc.

Third layer realizations:  What about the quality of what I’m buying?  Organic?  Yes, If its not too expensive.  All natural?  Sustainable?, etc.

Fourth layer realizations:  Where did that food come from?  1,500 miles?  15 miles?  Do I trust the label?  “Organic these days often means someone has a lot of infrastructure and bureaucracy attached to their process. Is the process wholly dependent of affordable diesel fuel?  Do I know the farmer, no?  Why not?

Here we start tripping over the expediency of making  good (wholesome, respectful of workers, honoring nature) choices.  Here I mean real choices connected to real people, with real faces, whose kids really do need dental work, for whom retirement seems impossible, etc.

Commercial farmers often use round up (or other chemicals) because it’s what they know, and it looks like part of the expedient process for getting cash out of their crop. ( Incidentally this is a bad idea when it comes to downstream effects all of the someone elses will have to manage (all of us).  (Dave Murphy – Glycophosphate: unsafe on any plate.)) Your supermarket will truck in “organic” produce from 1,500 miles away because it is the expedient way to meet our consumer demands.  This, as opposed to developing a robust local natural foods community/economy.

Too hard to be on top of all that this discussion implies?  Yes, and what I am saying  is that the creation of new local natural and safe food economies will only evolve if we as individuals get out there, and put in the time to make more desireable decisions.  It won’t be convenience or expedient.  However, it will be rewarding and satisfying.  It all happens in small incremental steps.  So far my small discoveries in this vein are things I go to bed smiling about.

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trends…it’s what’s for dinner

Gift of veggies grown by neighbors

Trends … it’s what’s for dinner???

Trending is a concept with new inference lately:  what’s trending is now defined as “news” or fashion that a great number of people seem to be interested in and which is advertised by social media, “news” organizations, etc., so that you too can click the appropriate link to also follow “what’s trending”.

I have, in general, close to zero interest in what might be trending or fashionable.  Ok,  after 32 years of marriage I finally acquiesced to trying a new style in eye glass frames.  I think they are dorky, she thinks they communicate a lively engaged personality.  Mostly they will just get dropped scratched and thrown around like every other pair I’ve had.

And trending “news”?  If it is delivered from a commercial news source I am sure it is information management and I have to ask: “why are they showing me this?”

Back when I used to watch television “what’s for dinner” was a commercial tag line that had to do with selling Americans on the idea of buying beef.  And it was hugely successful; beef has been trending for decades; it persists amid the trends of gluten free, kombucha, paleo…

So, that was a long preamble into discussing the intersection of three things that are important to me. First, there’s eating.   Second, there is eating things that are healthy to put in one’s body.  Third, there is supporting a food industry that is interested in the health of its customers and in operating in a way that helps heal the earth rather than deplete it.

As a society we are reaping the effects of years of “trends” which include: factory chicken, monoculture farms, pesticide and herbicide dependent agriculture, soil depletion, and in general mechanisms and fertilizers dedicated to petroleum.    From oceanic dead zones to blood- for- oil war, the negative unconsidered consequences of these trends are now looking like a tsunami of enormous error and cost.

It is sobering to take a step back and acknowledge that “they” can’t to this to us without our collective permission.  And, we give our permission with the way we spend our money.

Thankfully, locally grown organic foods are becoming regular features in restaurants, schools, and family refrigerators.  It’s prevalence and value are proving to have staying power and to be more than just a trend.

Fields of Farmers  addresses the problems we have created with our support of agribusiness, but also engenders hope as it contemplates some of the solutions.  You may enjoy it’s thoughtful, hopeful insights as well.

Here’s a new trend which has a great many positive side effects:  it is asking, “Where did that forkful of food come from?”.  I am discovering that there was a world of insight to acquire once asking this question.

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