Any dedicated readers of this blog (all two of them, I fear) have likely gathered that I value food quite dearly. More specifically, I value the concept of nutritious, whole, safe, right food. Not just USDA-Certified Organic, which has become a marketing tool for a lucrative sector of international agribusiness, but local food grown by people who care about soil, body, and spirit. To me, a sound interest in food is a gateway to health unparalleled by today's "advances" in medicine - the contrast of a proactive lifestyle vs. reactive treatment. At least that's how I see things now, having been blessed (whether by genetics, lifestyle, or blind luck) with an existence free of medical issues.
My quest for sound food burns bright. I want to spread the word, either by growing great produce for my wife and child, convincing my parents to adopt better eating habits, or blogging about gardens. I can feel it; the intrinsic sureness that the power of community surrounding local agriculture is key to wrestling our economic, governmental, medical, and spiritual freedoms back from the exploitative corporate oligarchy that looms over us. Our salvation from consumerist dystopia!
But then I take a step back and reflect on my passion for sound food and the words I use to describe it. Blessings. Freedom. Salvation. What separates me from the religious zealot who seeks to convert all to his mindset? The proselytizer who is convinced that his absolute viewpoint is absolutely correct? The power of God and the power of organic carrots...in the grand analysis....do the indifferent ears upon which the message fall even make a distinction? Just more noise in a world where everyone is looking to sell their schtick? I am not a religious man nor am I versed in theology, but I sometimes fear that my dedication to the food thing amounts to more than worshiping false idols. Perhaps I should be focusing energies elsewhere...but where? Nonetheless, I am guided (and reassured) by the sense that my passion is morally right despite the uncertainties of swimming upstream against the stiffening current of a consumer society that increasingly devalues such introspection.
To be clear, I use food as the centerpiece, but by no means the sole focus, of my philosophy. My concepts of a wholesome lifestyle extend beyond simple nutrition. Connections - to the earth, our bodies, minds, and fellow humans, are paramount and intertwined. The religious man very likely holds the same values, with the obvious additions of the love a greater being and the promise of an afterlife. Me, my anguish and dreams alike are rooted in the belief that this earthly existence is our one shot, so we better well make a damned good stab at it. And if that means I must swim upstream, so be it.