Feed, Nourish and Protect

Late summer and early fall mean I’m really busy with food.   Fruit to dry, storerooms rearranged to accommodate new supplies and freezers prepared to store this year’s bounty of meat and poultry keep me hopping from July through November.

Cooler weather also means a return to my favorite cooking venue – The Crockpot.

Although I’ve finally found some viable chilled soup recipes for summer, winter  remains my favorite time to cook.   Nothing calms me or brings greater joy than to move about the house accompanied by the smell of simmering soup and raising bread.

(Adding artificial heat to an already hot day makes me cranky…)

And while I like to eat good and have learned how necessary good nutrition is to my health and well-being, I really don’t like spending all day, everyday, in the kitchen.

There are so many other grand adventures to partake in!

So, the Crockpot is my best friend.

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I’ve spent the last few years immersing myself in the subject of food – sources, how it’s grown, how it’s prepared, how to get the greatest nutrition out of your food choices.

I’ve also immersed myself in research of how we heal – what promotes healing and what doesn’t – what works and why.

Food is more than just a way to feed our tummy.    Done properly, food nourishes our soul, both during preparation and ingestion.   And purchased properly, our food choices contribute to our local resiliency and  protects our local economies.

Sorry, but you just can’t get that kind of bang for your buck outta 4 for $5 frozen dinners.

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At some point in my own journey through healing and food, I started wondering how much healing value comes from the actual food and how much is a return of the energy we have invested in food.    May sound nuts, but if you follow quantum physics, mind/body research or studies regarding the placebo effect, then you would be pondering this thought, too.

Though my ears have not heard this phrase for over 3 years, my mind can still conjure up my Dad’s voice, intoning:

“Thank you for this food;  bless it to the nourishment of our bodies and bless the hands that prepared it.”

He didn’t leave out anyone in the chain of what put good food in front of him.

Reminds me of various practices in hunter/gatherer cultures – the before hunting dance/prayer – the after hunting dance/prayer – the small tokens offered to the various gods recognized as being responsible for us living and eating for one more day.

Stories of  guests honored by food – first dibs and they were expected to take the choicest, largest portion.

Food was a big deal and honored.

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What if focused, peaceful intent actually changes the benefits of the energy you ingest?   What If?!?

Then a leisurely 15 minutes spent chopping veggies and slicing meat in the morning to be dumped into simmering home-made broth, when I’m well-rested and still wildly enthusiastic about the fact I woke up (again) means the soup I start for supper is so super loaded with nutrition, my family should look like the Incredibles by now.

It surely has to have more nutrition than the frozen pizza I slap in the oven after returning home late, with my mind still off in the never-never land of cranky bosses, uncompleted projects and moron drivers.   I’m convinced that’s one of the top reasons why ‘fast food’ doesn’t satisfy us as it should.  I didn’t ‘super-inject’ it with Good Intent!

According to some ancient cultural practices and modern medicine, my family’s digestion processes work better too, when I’m in a good mood at the supper table…

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Taken a step further, if I do happen to think about who made the frozen pizza, I don’t put out peaceful intent.

I understand that frozen pizza was probably compiled by either a machine or some poor minimum wage factory worker who wonders when a machine will replace him/her.    I also think about the commodity system, how farmers, ranchers and dairymen get less than the cost of production for their wares and how even with subsidies, that one pizza represents a world where small family farms can’t compete, monoculture mindset reigns and super companies have a five-year plan of patenting and owning all the food seed in the world.  I also think about how much money goes to those who process, package and transport the food and how much goes to the people who actually grew/raised it.

(It’s very skewed – if you don’t believe me, and you live in eastern Colorado, then ask any of your neighboring wheat farmers what they get per bushel of wheat from the wholesale broker, when it has, gasp, sprouted and then go to your local “Health Nut” food store and see what you pay for wheat grass or sprouted wheat flour)

On the other hand, when I make soup, and think about how it traveled to me, I put out lots of good energy:

I’m thankful for the wheat farmer, the rancher and the two 4-h girls who are willing to raise an extra pig for me.   I think about friends and neighbors who called or emailed and said, “Help!   I got a bumper crop of (insert veggie/fruit).  Come get some!”    I think of them, their life, their children and I feel such a warm glow of gratitude for all they do for me.

I think about my local Farmer’s Market and how much I enjoy wandering up and down the aisles, buying veggies that were cared for by the hands that are now giving me my change.

It’s just two completely different states of mind – solely dependent on what I choose to prepare for supper.

Even if you don’t buy into the whole ‘divine matrix and intention theory’,  ya gotta admit, having peaceful thoughts while fixing supper has its’ advantages.

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I’d like to see a Real Food revolution.   I’d like to have it be the main topic of conversation anywhere I go.   Where to find it, purchase it.   How to store, preserve, properly prepare it.   I would like to see the  mainstream media headlines splashed with bio’s about those who raise, care and produce Real Food.

Won’t happen anytime soon – I can’t even imagine, “nightclub”, “drugs” and “local farmer” ever being in the same headline.

Nobody wants to read about the rancher who gets up at 2:00 a.m. and checks her herd, because cows and heifers have this funny way of doing things – they like to go into labor whenever a good blizzard moves in…Every rancher knows this and they choose to remove themselves from comfort, just in case that first-time momma runs into some snags….

When will that be seen as hero status in our culture?

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Becoming a Real Foodie means more than just ‘eating good’.   It’s impossible to enter that world and not take the journey from your individual survival all the way up to the health of the biosphere.

During his RSA lecture, Empathic Civilisation, Jeremy Rifkin states,

“All economics depend on photosynthesis.”

He’s right, ya know.

And your Food Choices Really Are That Important!

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