Earth Day is a great opportunity to remember and reflect, if only for a moment, on the symbiotic relationship between our planet and its inhabitants. Take food, for instance. Right there is our primal link with Earth, the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom, one that we too often take for granted. Caught in the hustle-bustle and buzyness of life, we have shuffled and reshuffled our priorities so that what constitutes the very root–the core–of our physical existence and well-being on this planet has been thrown in the bottom drawer of our scattered minds. Better yet, being present to it, and honoring it, is perceived as a luxury or an oddity best left to wealthy snobs or to unrealistic, self-righteous eccentrics.
I won’t go here into the conversation about the overwhelming evidence of diet-related illnesses that afflict our 21st century Western society. There’s only so much science can do to alleviate diabetes. And it certainly won’t prevent one in three children born since 2000 from joining the stats if we don’t transform our relationship with food.
I also won’t discuss here the damning impact of industrial agriculture on greenhouse gas emissions, topsoil erosion, water pollution and loss of cultivated biodiversity. Suffice to say that we’re in the process of destroying the Earth’s capacity to feed us, just as surely as we’re failing to nourish ourselves for health.