Food and Freedom
I am a paramedic who continually witnesses the negative consequences of my patients’ lifestyles on their health. The connection between food and disease has become apparent through this unique window. I resigned my previous position in order to attend a health based culinary school and to study agriculture. With this knowledge I will implement strategies to ease access to healthy, local foods. I will also empower individuals through education on physical fitness, healthy cooking and gardening. Through these methodologies I plan to improve the overall health of our citizens and reduce chronic disease.
It is eye opening to observe the interplay of the food, medical establishment and government. This has led me to research the connection between an individual’s food sourcing and how that affects his ethical considerations, culture and freedoms. My contention is that the closer one is to his food source, the broader ones ethical considerations are and the freer an individual is. A strong sense of ethics leads to a well-developed culture and individual freedom. I believe the basis of all ethics is respect. The basis of respect is truth.
Hunter-gatherer societies have a very strong connection to the land and spirit. These societies are capable of living off of the land while living in harmony with nature. The agricultural revolution led to the beginning of the conquering of the land. While still connected, society did not have to understand and respect nature as greatly and this led to a sense of superiority and control over nature. This changed the basis of the culture. The industrial revolution and conventional farming techniques rapidly increased society’s distance from the land. Western societies connection to the land has been grossly severed, bringing detrimental effects. Many individuals are unable to distinguish between food and “food-like” products. Society has been inundated with disease and we are treated by a medical community that manages sickness with pharmaceuticals instead of eliminating sickness through a healthy diet and exercise. Our society no longer lives with conscious consequences of harming the land. We no longer live with innate truths as the basis of our culture.
Fortunately, this trend is reversible. Society has entered a post-conventional agriculture era. This era has ushered in a new understanding of food, civil society and freedom through the growth of urban farms, backyard gardening and farmers markets. By reclaiming the rights and responsibilities of our food sources we are freeing ourselves from dependence on the corporate establishments of “food-like” products, medical professionals, pharmaceuticals and government. A strong connection to the land and self-sufficiency lends itself to respect for one’s self, land and others.
The pillars of false freedom are disintegrated by the intangibles that are developed with a connection to the land. I will continue my efforts to empower individuals through education and writings on food, physical fitness, community gardens and cooking classes.
“I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural.” – Thomas Jefferson