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7. Food

The process of consuming food to support, sustain and enhance life is essentially one of taking in the components and energy of our environments and other living things and transforming it into energy used by our minds, beings, bodies and their components, including a lot of necessary bacteria. 

 

We, and all things, are ultimately energy in interacting patterns of wavelengths and frequencies.  To the best of our knowledge, energy is not created nor destroyed, just converted from one form to another.  When we eat and digest food, we convert the energies of other things into our personal energies.  The healthier, purer and more vibrant the energies we surround ourselves with and consume, the healthier, purer and more vibrant our energies are.  The better the energy we consume, the better our energy.

The healthiest, purest and most vibrant life energies in all beings are cultivated in healthy, pure, thriving, balanced and vibrant natural environments.  Food that lives and grows in such environments, in healthy, natural and balanced ways, sustains and supports us better than food grown in unhealthy, unnatural and unbalanced ways and environments.  We are healthiest, happiest and most thriving when we consume products of other healthy, happy and thriving living beings, which are themselves consuming other healthy, happy and thriving living beings, which all live in and are nurtured by healthy, natural, balanced and thriving ecosystems.  That’s a healthy web of life, which we are all naturally part of.  Believe it or not, you can personally taste and feel the difference between good and bad food.  Try it!

We harm that web of life with ignorant, uncaring, short-sighted and artificial agricultural practices.[1]  When we destroy forests, allow or take actions which cause soils to degrade, insert artificial chemicals, disrupt natural water circulation systems, poison the air, create noise and light pollution, manipulate genetics and release biological wastes, release nuclear radiation or waste, release plastics and other hazardous wastes, we destroy or harm environments, inter-related food webs and ecological systems. 

Many other human activities also harm environments, inter-related food webs and ecological systems.  Global warming is one large scale way we are creating such harm,[2] and that is just the tip of the iceberg of how humans are harming natural systems, environments, life and food webs and ecological systems.[3] 

We absorb harmful poisons in our bodies, directly from our environments, which we create and release into our environments, through our lungs, skin and orifices, and through what we consume in food and water for sustenance.  That makes us unhealthy, creating problems we then want our broken healthcare system[4] to solve.  Doesn’t it make more sense to simply not poison our selves, food and environments?

These harms affect the energy and content of the beings we consume to create our energy as beings.  Our outputs become others’ inputs, which become their outputs, which become our inputs, and so on.  Everything’s inter-connected and inter-related.  Much of that’s making us sick and unhealthy, affecting our energy as beings, in ways that harm us.  It’s common sense to stop creating harmful energy in our environments and other beings, which becomes harmful energy in us, which causes us to put harmful energy into our environments, in a cycle of life, which is vicious, rather than virtuous.  Right?

The experience of death transforms energy.  The quicker, more merciful, peaceful and graceful death is, surrounded by love, support, gratitude and good energy, the more coherent the life energy is that goes into its transition, and the more coherent the energy is in the material left behind.  Harmful energy in those taking life, in environments where life’s taken, or in ways life is taken, turns into harmful energy in the departing life spirit, harmful energy in material left behind, and harmful energy taken into ourselves. 

Like it or not, we kill for most food we eat.  If we do that with love, support, respect, gratitude and good energy, in healthy and peaceful environments, to beings that have lived good, happy, healthy lives, the food is better for us.  The less harmful energy involved in killing and processing food, the less harmful energy there is in the food that goes into us.  So, it’s common sense to give life that becomes our food good lives, and good deaths, right?  That goes for the life that is food for the life that is our food also.

Food and the energy in it degenerate with time, decaying, rotting and dissipating.  The fresher food is, the better it is for us.  So, it makes sense to grow food close to where we consume it, so the food we eat is fresh, and we aren’t poisoning the environment moving it around too much.  Right?

 

The less of anything unhealthy that is added to the food, the better that food is for us.  So, it makes sense not to add artificial chemicals, coloring and other unhealthy content to foods.  Right?

Some natural and healthy foods are better for us than others.  We are better able to convert that energy into energy that is good for us.  Not everything we can eat is food that is good for us.  It’s better for us to eat food that’s good for us.  Often, the difference between foods, herbs, spices and medicines is dosage.  We must get the choices and dosages of what we consume right.  We need healthy relationships with food, herbs, spices and drugs, using with knowledge, respect and benefits, without unneeded harms.

Food is fuel.  We need to consume only what we need to burn for current conditions and activities.  If we consume too much food/fuel we get fat, reducing our performance levels, and we get unhealthy, unless we need it for warmth.  If we don’t consume enough, we lack energy for what we’re trying to do.  Not all fuels burn the same.  Use the right fuels and amounts of fuels needed for the day.

That’s all pretty simple, really.  However, we’ve made much of our food system more complex than that, doing things to environments and foods that makes them less healthy, nourishing and sustaining for us.  We’ve done that, because other factors or values interfere with or override the values that produce good, healthy energy, environments and foods.  Largely, that is:  allowing ourselves to be removed from where and how our food is produced, ignorance of natural systems, and desires to make money.

Today, most people live in cities and urban developments, unhealthy places where land is expensive and it’s hard to produce healthy food, so most don’t.  Many don’t know personally where food comes from, have never seen a farm, farm animal or growing food.  Many have no personal relationship to nature, and nobody fully understands it.  We’ve let food production become industrial, centralized business.  The primary motivation of most business is to maximize monetary profit for owners.  There’s a conflict between the mission of providing healthy food and maximizing profit for business owners.

 

Big, for-profit farming corporations believe they can make more money through higher yields on vast monoculture operations in controlled unnatural environments, using unnatural petroleum and other chemical and genetic manipulations and feeds, with big harmful energy making machines that reduce contact between living humans and living beings we cultivate.  They manipulate the natural biology of beings we cultivate and interfere with their natural relationships with other beings, like soil organisms, insects and birds.  They don’t keep soil healthy.  They exploit farm workers, harming their energy.

Industrial monoculture farming depletes soils, reduces biodiversity, limits consumer choices, pollutes waters with fertilizer and poison runoff, destroys ecosystems, eliminates small farmers, destroys farm communities, and reduces connections between human beings and beings we eat.[5]

 

Agricultural businesses raise animals in factory concentration camps, where they never experience a natural and healthy environment, packed together in prison cells without natural light or air, crawling over each other in confusion, suffering and misery, where dis-ease is cultivated and spread, surrounded by bad energy, fear and dissatisfaction.  In order to get animals to grow faster and fatter, and keep them from getting sick, they are pumped full of unnatural hormones and drugs and fed unhealthy and unnatural foods, like cheap corn, or, in some cases, even their own kind, in an evil, forced cannibalism.  99% of chickens, 90% of pigs, and 78% of beef cattle in the U.S. are in animal factory operations.[6] 

Then, after unnaturally short and miserable lives, people who hate their work, because it, their working conditions and bosses are horrible, kill animals as fast as their bosses can make them, in grisly slaughter-houses, with horrifying sights, sounds and smells, after shipping animals in overcrowded prison cars in frightening, unnatural conditions, to overcrowded pens full of scared animals in unnatural conditions.  The animals die while suffering, full of fear and anxiety.  Bad energy is created, that bad energy ends up, with the bad energy of the animals’ lives, in meat we consume, and that bad energy ends up in us.  Individual slaughterhouses kill hogs at the rate of 22 per minute, chickens at 175 per minute.[7] 

Eating meat has enormous impacts on the environment.  “Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than combined exhaust from all transportation”; “2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef”; “5 tons of animal waste is produced per person in the US” per year; “80% of antibiotics sold in the US are for livestock”.[8]  We don’t really need to eat as much meat as many do.  Scale that back, and choose only meat that comes from good lives and practices!

To keep food presentable to customers, food processors manipulate food, in various ways, adding chemicals and preservatives, irradiating it, flashing it with cold or heat.  It gets manipulated into mixes and packages sold as processed foods, wrapped in unhealthy and environmentally disastrous plastics. 

 

Artificial flavors are added to compensate for the loss of natural flavors.  Most is shipped long distances, sits in warehouses and on shelves.  In the end, much of what many people eat is unhealthy, unnatural and full of poisons and bad energy, which is converted into bad energy in our bodies, minds and spirits.  Citizens have difficulty even getting government to require disclosure of the genetic modifications, or pesticide, chemical, preservative and poison content in foods.[9] 

The value of good, healthy, sustaining natural foods, produced and consumed in good, healthy, thriving local environments, full of good energy we convert with pleasure into good life energy in our bodies, minds and lives, has been compromised and subverted by our culture’s overwhelming value of making money, and by locating its people in unhealthy environments that do not produce good food locally.  Harmful food and harmful energy in us become illness, poor health, low energy, poor performance and harmful attitudes, feelings and behaviors in us, resulting in harmful systems, situations and society. 

Good, local, natural, sustainable food produced from good lives with good energy, without creating harm to environments and life webs is important.  We need better relationships with better food.

Oh, while we’re at it, can’t we also find the generosity in ourselves to help others not be hungry.  1 in 4 U.S. children suffers “food insecurity,” “living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life,”[10] while 1 in 3 is overweight or obese.[11]  Half of U.S. children are eligible for free or subsidized food in schools, because they’re poor.[12]  820 million people in the world are hungry.[13] 

Meanwhile, people in the U.S. spend $66 billion (6% of FADS) annually trying to lose weight,[14] half of what it would cost to feed all of the world’s hungry,[15] and $210 billion (18% of FADS) in medical costs for the U.S. obesity epidemic,[16] twice what it would cost to feed all the world’s hungry. 

 

The U.S. wastes $165 billion of food each year (14% of FADS), 1.5 times what the Federal Government spends on education, more than enough to feed all of the world’s hungry.  7% of crops are left in fields; food is lost in transportation, packing, processing and distribution; food is discarded because it isn’t pretty enough for shelves; supermarkets throw out $15 billion of unsold fruits and vegetables per year; diners in restaurants leave 17% of their food uneaten (partly because portion sizes have become so big); U.S. families throw away 14% - 25% of their food every year.[17]

 

Isn’t there some way we can eat healthier, no more than we need, stop wasting food and help others not be hungry?  Doesn’t that seem possible?  Wouldn’t that be a beautiful gift to those who are hungry?  Grow any food yourself, so you have some relationship with how food grows!  Create and share good food without greed or doing any unnatural harm!

 

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Endnotes

 

Endnotes

[1] See We Can Change Our Wicked Problems! Chapter on Agriculture and Food, https://www.wecanchange.us/agriculture-and-food

[2] See We Can Change Our Wicked Problems! Chapter on Climate Change, https://www.wecanchange.us/climate-change

[3] See We Can Change Our Wicked Problems! Chapter on Pollution and Other Environmental Harms, https://www.wecanchange.us/pollution-and-other-environmental-h

[4] See We Can Change Our Wicked Problems! Chapter on Health and Healthcare, https://www.wecanchange.us/health-and-healthcare

[5] “5 Ways Monocultures are Bad for the Planet”, Ursula Squire, June 9, 2016, Basmati, https://basmati.com/2016/06/09/5-ways-monocultures-are-bad-planet

[6] “Animal Factories and Animal Welfare”, Center for Food Safety, https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/307/animal-factories/animal-factories-and-animal-welfare

[7] “Killing 22 Hogs a Minute, Meatpackers Test Old Limits of Safety: Trump’s USDA is looking to speed up the slaughter line.”, Andrew Martin, Bloomberg, Updated on February 1, 2019, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-01/killing-22-hogs-a-minute-meatpackers-test-old-limits-of-safety?utm_campaign=news&utm_medium=bd&utm_source=applenews

[8] “Cowspiracy:  The Sustainability Secret”, Film by Kip Andersen, http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/

[9] “The Surprising Failure Of Food Labeling”, Omri Ben-Shahar, April 18, 2016, Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/omribenshahar/2016/04/18/the-surprising-failure-of-food-labeling/#d5349ad3f8b5

[10] “Shocking Need: American Kids Go Hungry”, Kimberly Brown, August 24, 2011, ABC News, http://abcnews.go.com/US/hunger_at_home/hunger-home-american-children-malnourished/story?id=14367230

[11]“ Five Facts You Should Know About School Meals, January 23, 2013, Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project, The Pew Charitable Trusts, http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/analysis/2013/01/23/five-facts-you-should-know-about-school-meals

[12] “School meals: Healthy lunches, food waste and effects on learning”, Denise-Marie Ordway, April 13, 2017, Journalist’s Resource, https://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/education/school-free-lunch-meals-waste-healthy

[13] “World hunger is still not going down after three years and obesity is still growing – UN report: More than 820 million people are hungry globally”, News Release, World Health Organization, July 15, 2019, https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/15-07-2019-world-hunger-is-still-not-going-down-after-three-years-and-obesity-is-still-growing-un-report

[14] “U.S. Weight Loss Market Worth $66 Billion, WEBWIRE, May 4, 2017, https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=209054

[15] “How much would it cost to end hunger?”, Joseph D’Urso, July 16, 2015, World Economic Forum, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/07/how-much-would-it-cost-to-end-hunger/

[16] “Are you heavier or shorter than the average American?”, Naomi Thomas, CNN, Updated December 20, 2018, https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/20/health/us-average-height-weight-report/index.html

[17] “How the U.S. manages to waste $165 billion in food each year”, Brad Plumer, August 22, 2012, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/08/22/how-food-actually-gets-wasted-in-the-united-states/?utm_term=.e7dfa00fa836

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