Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Eating for one.....ness

Eyes glaze over at references to the health benefits of nuts, the vitamin content of kale, the nutrient values in blueberries, or conversely the detrimental effects of processed and chemically-laden food-like substances. It’s hardly surprising; dry facts sprinkled with opinion are rarely inspiring and as such, they generally resonate only with the already interested.

We know that we’ve collectively taken a wrong turn where our food is concerned, we may even have an idea of how we got here: industrialisation, demanding schedules and the subsequent drive for speed and convenience, but knowing this does little to rectify the situation, and a sense of powerlessness prevails. The apparent options seem unappealing or even impossible: turning back the clock would mean a significant reversal in agriculture and food production, not to mention spending much more time in the kitchen, and whose role is that? Equally significant are the barriers to understanding what we ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’  be doing; so much information abounds, each piece contradicting an earlier one. And breaking food down into un-exciting individual components, combined with a reluctance to dispense with the familiarity of, and emotional ties to the current fare, make any real transition seem barely surmountable.

Why do we insist on looking at this through the wrong end of the telescope? Are we missing out on a much bigger picture? Individuals have a valuable role, not infrequently an invaluable role, but only interaction with others can lend meaning and relevance. This is not exclusively a reference to human beings, it applies just as well to food, but perhaps even more significantly, to ALL individual parts. The ‘parts’ are everything; food, people, land, water, air, wildlife, animals. There cannot be a separation, only an imbalance. Recognising the one-ness is to hold the key that opens the door to a new world. The world of the individual parts is mechanistic and disappointing as the search for equilibrium proves elusive. The world of one-ness emphasises harmony and a mutual reflection of it; if I value the world around me and eat in ways that support it, then I am likely to benefit too; if I seek first to take authentic care of myself, the choices I make to do so will impact more favourably on the world from which they originate. Instinctively we know this but we have learnt to see the world through a focussed, narrow and thus limiting lens and in doing so, deprive ourselves of the colour and joy of a world seen and experienced through the wide lens of awareness. This learning can be overturned, and it will effect everything … perhaps slowly and gently, but certainly profoundly.

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