Monday, April 9, 2012

My submission to the Chipotle Essay Contest to Meet Joel Salatin

What Does Real Food Mean To Me?

Each of us mirrors the planet we arose from, a vibrant complex ecology of both the physical and the energetic, the macroscopic and the unseen. True living food nourishes our body and our spirit, an expression of respect for the soil, water, plants and animals born of healthy labor on the farm and in the garden.

Having endured and prospered for seven billion years and counting, the Earth currently groans under the stressful weight of seven billion human beings existing in several unsustainable models, from Third World clear cutting to First World factory farming based on monoculture, oil and the treating of livestock animals as mere things. Try as we might, we cannot isolate ourselves from Nature nor avoid the consequences of plundering it.

How we feed ourselves and our families is an intimate expression of our world view and how we make use of each precious day given us. Nourishing the soil instead of poisoning it, creating diversity of life in our gardens and farms, making wise use of water, and affording relative freedom and comfort to the creatures we raise for eggs and milk and meat, results in vital nutrient-rich foods that in turn cultivate vibrant health in us. It is no mere coincidence that as the use of pesticides and antibiotics and chemical fertilizers have increased the last half century in America, so has a broad range of degenerative diseases.

Organic gardening and farming are not only more frugal in the short term, both practices avoid future health care costs while creating a sustainable prosperity. We each have been blessed with a brief flash of existence on this verdant world lost in an unfathomably vast and miraculous Universe…what better way to express our gratitude then to Occupy our hearts and urban farms and our cities gently, each vibrant morsel a testament and an offering.

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