It was 26 years ago that I wrote an article for my church's newsletter bearing this same title. This is what I wrote:
"I love a healthy natural meal. No prepackaged food off the shelves, no chemical concoctions, no plastic food. The meal of my dreams has wholesome food , real food, authentic food. Food as food used to be in the olden days. There is only one little problem with my fantasy. In my dream I see the year 2000. The manufacturers have boomed, new additives have been found and there is nothing natural around. Even those foods I thought would never go, got churned in the processors pot. Poor mother nature was helpless!
I travelled to every corner of the earth but the processors had gotten there before me. There was nothing natural left on this earth. I though to myself "What have they done to the poor developing nations?" But the people seemed happy! They too were enamored with technology and the smile on their faces expressed their delight in the "plastic stuff" they had at their convenience.
I woke up washed in perspiration. I ran to the oven and looked for the carrot cake I had made. It was still there. I had a slice and a glass of ice cold milk. Every gulp I took, every bite I made was chewed with care, as if I was expecting a shortage of real food in the near future. That may be true, but there is hope , if we could only pass those blighted food processors."
Here it is 2016 and I have attended the 17th International Congress of Dietetics in Granada, Spain and the hot topic is sustainable eating; the call is for each of us to take care of the planet earth, to embrace a diet which enables the health of humans and the planet forever.There were passionate speakers from around the world who pleaded for us to take action. Although there are no magic bullets we can improve on the choices we make, where we buy our food; buying local makes a vast difference, bringing opportunity for the vendors to grow in their community. This is not a drive to create vegetarianism, but eating less meat in order to discover other proteins, is a step in the right direction.
It was an eye-opener to realize the connection between an architect and a Dietitian; how the kitchen is built, the efficiency of the equipment, waste disposal and other essentials are important. There were speakers who tackled the issue of food waste which has reached a high level globally and we must make it our responsibility to take action and join the movement to cultivate mindfulness. They asked us to take from the land what we need, thus reducing how much is used. The advice is to reuse whatever we can and ultimately recycle what is leftover. Mahatma Gandhi said "The world has enough for every one's needs but not enough for every one's greed."
At this mouthwatering conference, there was a lot of noise about community and the beautiful offerings of the land and sea. In watching the film :A Journey Across La Mancha, Food Sustainability And Union Of Civilization" it was visible that once upon a time everyone lived well together and protected each other, but as soon as man began to plow the land discord began. This is the story I told so many years ago about moving to the prepackaged food items away from food produced by the farmers. It is certainly the job of those in the position to engage the community in improving nutrition and other health care issues,fight against food waste and make an impact. It was Lao Tzu who said: "Go to the people. Live with them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say "We have done this ourselves"
Amazing things happened in Granada, Spain. The 17th International Congress of Dietetics has made sustainable eating their business and so should you. Be inspired! Join the journey and become part of that creative energy.