We should have a more intimate relationship with food

Do you know where your food comes from? And no, I don’t mean the supermarket.

Saying that food is important is an understatement; as living organisms, we have to eat to survive.

As humans, we have developed quite a complicated relationship with food.

Once, we were hunter-gatherer nomads, traveling and collecting food from the wild.

However, our civilization was built upon food, as the permanent settlements that we know today would not have been possible without the development of agriculture.

Around the globe, people eat many different things and utilize a variety of seasonings.

When you think of different dishes, you can probably imagine the distinct flavor that comes with certain types of food.

Imagine the effort our ancestors put in to make such delightful dishes.

Seasoning had to be harvested from some kind of crop. Those same crops and other vegetables had to be sown and nurtured.

They were prepared fresh or preserved. Meats were once a live animal, raised with care and hand butchered.

Frankly, that type of care in meal preparation is not in a far-distant past.

Really, it is only in today’s modern age, especially in the United States, that we have become so dissociated from our food.

It is too easy to purchase frozen, precooked meats and meal packages at the grocery store and heat it up when you get home.

Now, I’m not saying that these types of meals aren’t beneficial. I understand that they come in handy, especially after a long day of work or school. They can be convenient.

But my partner once said, “At what point does convenience become unhealthy?”

At what point do we become so disconnected from our roots of humanity that we are so okay with shoving such heavily processed and mass manufactured food down our throats?

My partner and I raise and butcher some of our own meat.It is a humbling and cementing experience to be able to nurture life before utilizing it in the most respectful way possible to fuel our own.

I’m not saying everyone should raise and process their own meat; I understand not everyone has the ability to do that. It requires time and equipment. And it can also be mentally exhausting.

I am saying that everyone should respect and honor their food, especially if you eat meat. And perhaps you should even reconsider where you get your food from.

If you think that raising and handbutchering animals is barbaric, do you not consider that the chicken and beef you purchase from the supermarket suffered a worse fate?

Hundreds to thousands to millions to billions of animals–chickens, cattle, pigs–are cramped and crowded shoulder to shoulder.

Many of these animals–particularly chickens–have been bred for this purpose. Eventually, they get so big their legs can’t even hold them up any longer.

Furthermore, due to this massmanufactured death and assembly line process, the entire butchering procedure is unsanitary on such a large scale.

Since so many animals are being processed at a time (such as 2,000 chickens per hour), less regard is given for the cleanliness of the facilities.

This is where the danger of bacteria like E. coli come in. As a result, meat is required to be bleached for sanitation.

Personally, I see so many things wrong with this.

I encourage you to shop locally, especially for meat. By doing so, you’re supporting someone who has likely given more care to the creature you are eating.

As far as fruits and vegetables go, I also encourage you to shop local or at least buy fresh produce.

For those who say it is “too expensive to eat healthy,” that is certainly not true. It is cheaper to buy meal ingredients, such as fresh produce, than prepackaged and pre-cooked meals.

Plus, it gives you the opportunity to cook, which is a fulfilling and cementing process as a human being.

If you really want to root yourself as a natural being, then I even suggest you take up a little gardening if you have the space and resources to do so.

Even having a few plants of your favorite vegetable can be fulfilling. Is it rewarding to be able to nourish a plant, watch it grow, and harvest from it.

As natural beings ourselves, we need to acknowledge our food.

For the life it gives us, it deserves our utmost respect.

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