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It's my personal soapbox, a place for me to express thoughts and feelings, musings and rants, reflections and recollections; to have fun with words -- about things spiritual, environmental, social, political, economic, and, from time to time, personal. And of course about peace. Soapboxes are in public places (as London's legendary Hyde Park) on purpose, and so I invite conversations with you, for it is through civil discourse that we can gain some perspective on the seeming chaos of these changing times and learn together how to shape a positive future for ourselves, our communities, and the generations to come.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

For Right Relationship with Food: Food Day, October 24

Peace, according to the Earth Charter, is the "wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part." Our relationship with the food we eat is, clearly, an essential component of that peace. The ways in which we choose, prepare, and consume what we put in our bellies, and how we dispose of any waste produced in the process, are a reflection of our beliefs and attitudes toward, and hence relationships with:

  • Ourselves -- the wellbeing and health of our own bodies
  • Other persons -- the people who plant, grow, feed, harvest, slaughter, process, transport, and market the products we eat
  • Other cultures -- the rich diversity of ethnic ways of preparing and eating food
  • Other life -- the plants and animals that have given their life to sustain ours
  • Earth -- the complex, interconnected, dynamic balance among the biological, geological, hydrological, and atmospheric ecosystems that produce the food that nourishes us and all life
  • The All -- the sun, the energy dynamics of the cosmos, and the 13.7 billion-year story of how primordial stardust winds up embodied in the stuff of our cells and what's on our dinner table.
Just thinking about it brings to mind the raisin meditation, which does wonders for feelings of gratitude and mindfulness.

In this context, you might want to be mindful of the Food Day movement. Quoting from the website:
"Food Day will be October 24—in 2011 and in years to come. Food Day seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all stripes—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. We will work with people around the country to create thousands of events in homes, schools, churches, farmers markets, city halls, and state capitals.
"A Food Day event could be as simple as organizing a cooking class or a vegetable-identification contest in your child's elementary school—or a healthy pot-luck dinner with friends. College students could organize forums that explore how our dietary choices impact the environment, the health of farm workers, and the treatment of animals. Health departments could kick off weight-loss campaigns. And city councils could hold hearings on how to lure supermarkets and farmers markets to underserved areas."
It's an opportunity to build community around the nourishing theme of food, and to build peace while you are at it.

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