It seems like almost every day I either find myself in a conversation about, or overhear a conversation about, politics – and more specifically what seems to be our increasing frustration with politics. Often this is voiced as what so many seem to think is an inability to affect political change in our country.
I have to wonder where this sense of helplessness is coming from. Is it from the daily inundation of bad news? The constant stream of negativism that leaves us feeling as though the world is in such a bad state of affairs that we really can’t affect positive change?
In an excellent recent article, Michael Pollan explores politics of food in our culture. The keyword here is politics. (Check the full article out here – http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/jun/10/food-movement-rising/?page=1). Food has in face become a very political issues and not only has a forceful food movement taken shape, it is gaining momentum. Farmer’s markets are buzzing. Organic foods are becoming mainstream – even occupying space at stores like Wal-Mart. Movies like Food, Inc are reaching out and affecting the way in which we view our patterns of consumption.
A main goal for me in creating this blog was to have a means in which to connect with and encourage others to become more conscious of not only what we put into our bodies, but more importantly, how and where we purchase our food. I have been reading and researching and connecting to various organizations in the food movement and what I am finding is that is no shortage of positive change taking place. People are owning their health, their bodies and their right to make conscious, informed decisions for themselves and their families that support local economies and promote well-being. I am inspired by the sheer number of people who are ridding their existence of microwaves and frozen food. Of fast food and quick fixes. They are empowered to shut out the ads and the conveniences and take control of not only their health – but their lives as well. They speak of finding more connection not just to what they are eating but to their families and communities. They speak of the joys of going back to a more natural way of living. A slower one that allows for more appreciation. Greater enjoyment.
There is no reason whatsoever to think that we cannot affect change. We can and we do. Daily.
Every time you walk through the doors of your local supermarket you may choices that affect change. And every single time you opt to go a farmer’s market, u-pick, or co-op instead you are affecting change. You make a statement when you choose to purchase produce grown at a farm 50 miles from your home versus bananas flown in from Ecuador. You make a statement when you choose organic milk – free from antibiotics and growth hormones – or pick even just one day a week to go meatless. Choices like these impact the political structure of our food supply as well as our health. And when these choices are made on a collective scale, by an increasing number of concerned and caring citizens they do in fact send a message to our government. We vote with how we spend our money as much as we do with any ballot.
Let’s move away from thinking that we can’t do anything to steer this boat of ours another direction because there is no truth to that. The smallest actions can make an enormous difference and you hold the ability to make those changes right there in your hands.
For dinner tonight try serving power.