Food Resilience - What does it mean and why do we need it?
It’s March 2020 and crazy out there, but times like these can be rich in lessons, if we know where to look for them. The importance of strong communities, being fluid in the face of change and keeping grounded amongst collective panic are just a few. And, of course, the empty supermarket shelves have got something incredibly important to teach us.
Apocalyptic as it feels, the bare shelves are pointing to the importance of having access to local food sources. These may be your own veggie garden, the local farmer’s market, community garden or farm stalls - all ways to get your hands on kai grown in your own neighbourhood. In a time like this, a strong local food network means communities are better able to stand strong and nourish themselves when global ties are cut.
This is food resilience, and it means taking a leaf from our ancestors’ books. With our hands more used to reaching for our debit cards than digging into the soil, we may have forgotten some of the finer details. But we humans are powerfully adaptable, and for those who don’t have the option to grow their own food, having access to a local farmer who does is just as important. Urban farmers are becoming less of a rare breed, and, like the folks at Auckland’s Organic Market Garden (OMG), are showing how patches of inner-city rubble can be transformed into life-giving soil.
There’s more benefit to sourcing local kai than reducing dependence on the supermarket, too. Fruit and veggies grown locally tend to be more nutritious, as they’re in season and don’t have to be tampered with to survive a long journey. If they don’t have to come far, there are less emissions, too. Local farms (or your own little patch) are a chance to keep things circular; food scraps can be rescued from the landfill and turned into juicy compost, which can then be laid on the soil to grow more food.
As we are forced to stop what we are doing, perhaps we are being given a chance to learn new ways of being. Or, in fact, to relearn old ways of being. Look after each other, look after the earth and if you’ve got some space, plant some veggies. We’ll pop a post up soon with advice on how to grow your own.
"And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed." - Kitty O’Meara