It's Not Just Your Bad Food Habits
"In cultures where eating rituals were widespread, people experienced few eating disorders. Conversely, ours is a culture with few eating rituals and numerous disorders."
~Edward Espe Brown, Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings
Where does your food come from?
The fast food counter?
I hope you know ... the answer is none of the above.
Your food comes from Mother Earth herself.But it's easy to forget that while dashing around half-chewing some processed factory fare.
I recently signed up this week for my annual CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share from the Valley Roots Food Hub here in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado.
Nick Chambers, the Hub's founder and director, is my Local Hero ~ he and his crew scour the valley rounding up the very best produce from local farms and distribute the fare directly to the CSA members.
I know that I'll not only be eating the freshest food around this summer. I'm also helping local farmers keep their farms alive and thriving in the face of the industrial food juggernaut.
I also will be connecting to my tribe of fellow fresh-food eaters who always have recipes, potlucks, and fun tips to share.
Eating orders and disorders
When dealing with our less-than-stellar food behaviors, it's so easy to blame ourselves and stop there.
But perhaps bigger forces are at work.
Food culture is the basis of human culture. For millennia, indigenous societies have anchored themselves around the tribal rituals of growing, hunting, harvesting, preparing, and eating food.
The reliability of those cycles—planting in the spring, tending in the summer, harvesting in the fall, and storing for the winter—connected human beings directly to each other and to the rhythms of nature.
It created a sense of belonging both to the tribe and to the elemental forces that birthed the food on the table.
In modern society, few of us live on the land we came from. We eat a diet that’s not only radically different from our ancestral fare; it’s a diet that’s disembodied from the earth itself.
Divorced from the natural cycles and tribal activity that brought food to us in the past, we are isolated within our own thinking and behavior.
We beat ourselves up for our addictive eating habits. We solidify our sense of ourselves as weak willed, unworthy, and undisciplined. We think it's all our fault.
Fortunately, there are resources available to help us re-establish our connection to the food that comes straight out of the earth. Among these are home gardens, community gardens, farmers' markets, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture programs), and eateries featuring locally grown foods.
How to connect
- Stop blaming yourself. You're not as isolated as you think you are. Because we are living inside a wounded food system, WE ALL struggle with food to one degree or another.
- Summon the willingness to change. Give yourself permission to create a food future that is different from your past and present. If that feels hard, use Tapping to get you unstuck.
- Explore. Where is the best, freshest food right in your home town, right under your nose? Maybe a neighbor has some hens who are laying extra eggs, and she'd be happy to swap you some for your kitchen scraps. Maybe there's a farmers' market in the next town over. Or you've got a small patch of yard that would make a great garden.
- Play. Don't try to be perfect at changing all your food habits all at once. Maybe one day you just go to a local market to see what's there and buy nothing. Try for a week to include at least one locally-grown food in one meal each day. Shift into curiosity. Give yourself room to slide around as you experiment.
- Enlist support. Who else do you know who wants to change their eating habits? Share a CSA box with that person. Make a date to dine together at a local-foods restaurant. Start a garden at one of your houses.
And fiinally ... remember that nobody is going to do this for us. It's up to us to make the change. It might seem like a hassle at first to make time to go to a farmers' market or to cook the veggies in your CSA box, but in the long run these practices yield dividends of health, pleasure and community connection that dwarf the addictive highs of bingeing.