Since moving to New Hampshire from my native Massachusetts a decade ago, I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery.
The journey, like all journeys, requires daily sustenance. And over the last decade I’ve really cleaned up my diet. Still, however, I am overweight. My doctor considers me obese though I don’t consider myself so. The last time I went to see my primary she mentioned me losing some weight, of which I heartily agree. She and I have different ideas on how to do such though. She believes I should be eating low fat foods, low calorie diet food like Weight Watchers. I told my primary I would rather be fat than have cancer. She looked at me with an odd expression so I asked her if she read the ingredients in processed diet food. When she said she hadn’t I said “When you do you’ll know why I won’t eat those foods.”
Wolf and I strive to eat as healthy as possible. There are very few processed foods in our home. Wolf makes most meals we eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sometimes, however, we do go out to eat. And we don’t always make the best choices. We are, after all, not perfect.
Organic food is better than conventional but there are problems with organic foods. First, organic labeling cannot always be trusted. Second, it’s not in with the principles of organic to be trucked halfway around the world to my cabinet from China (in the case of the organic pumpkin seeds I bought at the grocery store). Doing so negates the organic status, in my mind anyways.
Local is always good. But you have to know your farming neighbors and how they farm to know how “natural” their food is. For instance, I can go to the cow farm in Boscawen to get beef but I’ve never seen their cows outside. Rather, the fields are planted with corn. I know the closed in cows are eating corn which is not what cows evolved to eat. So despite the farm in Boscawen being close to home I won’t eat the beef. And I feel bad about that.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking more and more about food prohibitions. Jews and Muslims don’t eat pork, Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays. Buddhists are vegetarian. Pagans don’t have those prohibitions. But maybe it would be a good idea for Paganism to have some food rules.
Local, seasonal, organic* foods could be what our spirituality requires for Oneness with Mother Earth. Cutting down on our consumption of foods trekked from long distances will cut back on the carbon emissions. Supporting your local farmer will slow the elimination of farm land from into poison filled suburban homes.
Yes our diets will change. Getting avocados in New Hampshire isn’t likely and I’ll miss them like you wouldn’t believe. But I’ll live without them (I won’t live without fancy cheese and tea though). It’ll be a process that’ll take a lone time to develop. But eventually we can have a deeper relationship to our communities, our bodies, and our spirituality if we start committing to Mother Earth with our forks.
*I know there are plenty of farmers who use organic principles to farm but don’t have the label to put on because they did not wish to go through the violating and expensive process of becoming certified organic. I respect this by buying their food and eating it.