Food Stories/Food Wisdom?

Or Why Some 20-Somethings R Farming

I expect to learn loads August 2-13 during Arts and Social Change: InterPlay for Next Leaders. For instance, several participants are food activists. Olivia Holden lives in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood at SOL. Growing organic food, conserving and recycling resources, and organizing community events and workshops, SOL community explore ways to make the city more healthy and livable for all its inhabitants. Texas artist Shelley Scott is on her way to InterPlayce after practicing permaculture in New Zealand. Her eyes are on challenges to our food supply. Shelley recommends watching Vandana Shiva’s forecast on the future of food.

Food deals are on the rise. What’s your food body wisdom? Growing up I didn’t think much about food. This spring’s Oakland life practice group listed things we learned about it growing up, including,

Eat everything on your plate (or you’ll have to sit there)

Always put more on your plate than you need

Don’t waste food

If you’re sad eat a cookie.

Food is how you say I love you (I’m sorry)

There is more where that came from.

Moms don’t necessarily like to cook

Dads cook the meat

If you don’t want someone else to eat it, hide it

Eat your vegetables before dessert

Mabel Mabel strong and able keep your elbows off the table (your feet too)

Then we listed what members know and practice (wisdom) based on our own experience:

My body likes veggies

There’s a whole world of spices other than salt n pepper

Fresh and simple is best

Cooking is an art where I can listen to myself and cook yummy stuff

My body doesn’t tolerate sugar

Sometimes food is for survival; sometimes for enjoyment

I am powerless over chocolate

I have enough

I can grow my food

It’s a gift to feed others freely and often

When we eat we can sit together and enjoy telling a story

I can notice love in the food, even at Carl’s junior.

I always want another slice of pizza.

Apparently there is always way more then I need-portions I need are             smaller that I think I need.

I have a love hate relationship with hunger.

Eating is a great opportunity for awareness and thanks-but being             obliviousness is fun too

I lean toward local and organic foods, but “morsels on Shelley’s website put me on alert.” In Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Our year of seasonal eating she writes, “In the latter half of the twentieth century they (vegetable farmers) gradually dropped from their repertoire thousands of flavorful varieties traditionally grown for the table, concentrating instead on the handful of new varieties purchased by transporters, restaurant chains, and processed-food manufacturers. Modern U.S. consumers now get to taste less than 1 percent of the vegetable varieties that were grown here a century ago.”

Another Kingsolver quote is that “The ultimate unnatural product of genetic engineering is a “terminator gene” that causes a crop to commit genetic suicide after one generation, just in case some maverick farmer might want to save seed from his expensive, patented crop, instead of purchasing it again from the company that makes it.”

As a visitor and guest of India’s rural people it alarmed me to read that “In India…there is yet a more “sinister reason” for the mass suicides: GM crops, notably Bt cotton. Millions of Indian farmers had been promised undreamt of harvests by switching to planting GM seeds. They borrowed money to buy the exorbitant seeds, only to find their crops failing miserably, leaving them with spiraling debt from which the only exit is suicide. British journalist Andrew Malone writing for the Mail reported an estimated 125,000 farmers had taken their own lives directly as the result of GM crops; the crisis being branded “GM genocide” by campaigners. It is perpetrated by powerful GM lobbyists and prominent politicians all over the world who persist in claiming that GM crops have transformed Indian agriculture and producing greater yields than ever before. Malone described how he traveled to Maharashtra in the suicide belt to find out for himself who is telling the truth. There he witnessed the cremation of the body of the farmer in a cracked barren field near his home 100 miles from Nagpur in central India.” (see the full article)

This Friday August 6 InterPlayers in Oakland will Dance on Behalf Food 8-9pm.

The Next Gen group performs August 12 at 7pm. Lastly, August 13th they will dance on behalf of and dine with St. Mary’s Senior Center and Shelter Lunch. Please join us in body and spirit.

Read more about the Next Gen Art and Social change course!

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