So, I wasn't really sure where to begin discussing the issues surrounding our international food system. While doing some research today, however, I came across some basic explanations of what community food security is. I think I will start with this, because it presents to us where we would like to be; what kind of system would be optimal. What good would all of this awareness and analyzing be if we didn't have a goal in mind? So today I will post resources for you to explore exactly what a "good" food system would look like. Later, we will move on to outrageous practices that are occurring throughout the U.S. and around the world that prevent people from obtaining community food security. But I say let's start with hope.
Since my recent graduation from college in May I have been doing a whole lot of what outsiders may perceive as nothing. I read a lot, work out a lot, work during the weekend, and generally stay at home. Also, I have went through about every show on Netflix's instant-play (and am now forced to settle for having actual DVDs mailed to me...alas). For those who know me, this lifestyle is completely unlike my personality. I prefer to be in a constant state of movement. I am always on a search. Always working tirelessly on one project or another. Never sleeping. Yet, here I am, at my house, on a sort of mental vacation.
Yet, it has been during this time that I have really been able to let the work I've been doing sink in. I have been able to take my time in thinking and analyzing what it is that drives me and why I am concerned about the things I am concerned about. And I think I am getting somewhere. Last year I traveled to north India to work on the renowned Dr. Vandana Shiva's sustainable biodiversity farm in Dehradun. It wasn't my first exposure to sustainable development, but it was my first exposure to living in a different way of thinking. To escaping the Westernized thought patterns of endless progress and quick-fix problem solving. On Dr. Shiva's farm I experienced a truly different way of life, an alternative to what we live now. A viable way to proceed into the future in a realistically sustainable way. Dr. Shiva terms this as "Earth Democracy" and has an excellent book of the same name about its principles and actions.
Seeing this way of living clarified for me, in a big way, exactly how exploited, corporatized, globalized, and liberalized we have become. How we have lost all control over our own sustenance, our own ability to survive. We are not connected to how we receive our most basic needs, we rarely know what's in our food, much less where it comes from. And this way of living doesn't only impact ourselves, it impacts the entire world around us; from a failing environment and climate change, to exploited and impoverished workers, to serious health problems around the world, ranging from malnutrition to severe obesity. We live in a time when we have more than enough food to feed everyone in the world, yet we have record high levels of starvation. Simultaneously, we have record high levels of obesity. Food has become a power play. An international system of control based on created markets and restricted access. Who gets to count as valuable in this system? Who has access to food? Who doesn't? Why and why not? Where did our own control of this most basic need go?
In my time off I've been able to really look at these questions. To really see how our world has been shaped by the way we've been taught to eat. How do we, then, regain control? My goal here is to offer my thoughts. I am at a place in my life where I have finally been able to find some answers for myself. Least of which include starting my own very small (and very biodiverse!) garden and consistently working to buy local (from good friends with organic farms). But there is a lot more to this food issue. I plan on doing my best to evaluate movements, actions, and people who are working to bring us back to our food, back to sustainable living. I want to know what is going on to shape our choices and decisions. I want to see my part in the exploitation of banana workers in Colombia, and I want to end it. I want to end my blind consent to these practices and I want to be involved in eating for a better world.
So then, this blog is about ideas, awareness and thought. But I also want it to be about me. My ideas, how I eat, etc. So for those of you who have been asking for recipes, I plan on putting up my ever increasing number of deliciously vegetarian dishes =) . But this is part of the process. Understanding our food, how to use it, and where to get it. I hope this can be helpful. Comments/Questions/Hate/Love all welcome =)