La cibus (food) is the Latin root meaning “lunch,” any substance or materials that is consumed to provide nutritional support for the body or for pleasure. Our bodies break down the food and create energy to go to work, to run, to think, to live. Have you ever wondered where your food came from? Today, we live in a world where the rich get richer and the poor work harder. What’s more appetizing to those people other than a cheap meal (less than $5.00) after a longs day’s work and a 40 minute drive home? People do not want to cook in the kitchen for an hour making a healthy meal after working for 12 hours of their day. Therefore, to get people more involved in eating healthy we must incorporate them into the process.
First, what did you just eat? Watching my friend ingest what he believes are lovely chicken nuggets will leave just enough time to explain the complexity of making a buck. As he chews the mixed chemicals in his mouth, we remember The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “the most alarming ingredient in a Chicken McNugget is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, an antioxidant derived from petroleum that is either sprayed directly on the nugget or the inside of the box it comes in to ‘help preserve freshness’.” The Food and Drug Administration acknowledges chemical use in daily food, as Michael Pollan continues, “According to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a nugget.” Ingesting one gram of TBHQ can have several side effects including; delirium, and a sense of suffocation. Ingesting up to five grams is potentially lethal.
However, there is hope that people will be inspired to gain the knowledge of where food comes from. Could it be the fields of hard working individuals in which we have forgotten our gathering methods of natural plants? Today you can learn more about your healthy opportunities through community shared agriculture. Now the consumer can join the process of growing food on the farm level while sharing the risks and benefits of a healthy and natural diet. CSA’s help in a variety of ways; one way is by linking local residents to farmers, and another helps in establishing a true relationship between the consumer and their food production.
We need to experience the sunrise from a field, the dirt in our hands, the sun on our necks, the sweat down our face, the sunsets glow off the soil on our return home; before we understand what real food tastes like. The work of a true farmer must never be forgotten because he knows what the soil will endure, what the rain will father, and what sun will invest. It is the farmer who believes in question, “Do we realize that industry, which has been our good servant, might make a poor master?” (Aldo Leopold)