Slow Food or No Food!

“If it is not good for all of us, it is not good for any of us” – Ubuntu Philosophy

I guess by now, dear Reader, you have likely twigged – we have some trouble in our world and it is making us sick. But putting the finger on exactly what is causing this is no easy task. Today I have it in my mind to open or begin talking and thinking about embracing – SLOW FOOD and to warm everyone up for this new idea, here’s a clip from Portlandia …

I am a supporter of the Slow Food Movement for many reasons. I enjoy simple elegant solutions that sparkle with genius and have a glint of Captain Obvious twinkling in their eye. Hopefully, if I have honoured the subjects I try to expound here on Days eChain – you will have detected a hidden yet simple philosophy between the words.

It goes something like … “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!” but it also looks to the nature of Nature to heal when healing is required. And friends, we need healing on many levels. Creationist hype aside – there is, to me at least, and to many patient observers, philosophers, scientists and mystics that have gone before me and will continue long after I am no more, an inherent intelligence even consciousness or sentience to the organic world around us, to Nature.

Here is Birke Baehr (11 years) discussing the many layers of challenges we face managing the olde Global Food Production machinery. The Beginner’s Mind is something to cherish and if you are older, unexpectedly holding on to the Beginner’s Mind requires cultivation – like a garden. Remember when we were just open, curious, pure, perceptive? Remember when we saw things as they are and not as we thought they should be? Birke still sees like this. And this is what he sees …

“We can either pay the Farmer or the hospital!”

I treat a lot of Chronic Illness with varied and complex causes. Mental Illness is not the only health condition on the rise in our modern world bred to be better with benefits of easier living and side effects of isolation from each other and own selves, a form of socially sanctioned ‘psychosis’ (disconnection from the world around us).

Something about our modern life is causing a new kind of illness. People are seeking treatment for a variety of Auto-Immune Disorders, tricksy because own immune system has got well confused and is attacking itself. Seems odd. Auto-Immune Disorders can make you very very tired as the wheels slowly, quietly fall off your quality of living and ability to be self determined and autonomous.

Sometimes the physical symptoms that a person’s body is showing has a cause that is much broader that the afflicted being themselves. Identifying the cause is not so easy and it is necessary to have a good look at what is happening in the Community and how the Community is connecting to itself to find the source of the problem.

Nature is an intricate, beautiful and diverse spectacle of interconnecting systems. ‘She’could be described as being made up of many Open Dynamic Systems, that are self organizing and self correcting in Nature. This is the Principle by which Nature heals, and when I am stuck treating someone – it is necessary to go back to first principles illustrated in the natural world everywhere.

What are ‘First Principles’? They are the Basics of Health, the fundamental building blocks and foundations of being ‘Well’. We hear a lot about this business of ‘being well’, seems much harder that it should be …

Back to the fundamentals again – so, what are we eating? Are we sleeping? Are we connected? To each other, to ourselves, to our environment? Do we find meaning in that connection? Do we feel loved? Cared for? Are we caring for ourselves? Said another way “What is stopping us looking after ourselves?” Principles of Autonomy and Self Determination are essential when building or re-building Health and Wellness.

So when I add all this together, the method so beautifully displayed over and over and over again – by Nature is the best healer I have found yet, I look to Nature and ‘her’ methods to show the way back to health and balance. Believe it or not friends – The Body knows how to heal itself and if we can work with this inherent ability on every level of our Community – we will all get well, and we will go – together.

And so I am a staunch supporter of Slow Food, of making as in cooking your own meals from scratch, eating those meals with others as much as you can, growing your own food – if you can or sourcing your food from someone who loves growing food – you might say it is ‘their thing’. Low Food Miles means reducing the negative impact of carbon energy sources used to transport food and also increases the possibility of the positive impact of building a relationship with growers.

WHAT IS SLOW FOOD?
It is a global, grassroots organization (movement even) with supporters in 150 countries around the world who are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment.

Co-founded in 2003 by the international non-profit Slow Food and the Italian regions of Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna, the school’s innovative approach is to create a new understanding of gastronomy, linking the act of eating with the act of producing, along with all the phases in between. Four programs at two Italian campuses follow a multidisciplinary learning model, merging science with humanities, sensory training with communications, classroom study with field seminars. The Slow Food movement was founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy to combat fast food. It claims to preserve the cultural cuisine and the associated food plants and seeds, domestic animals, and farming within an eco region. It was the first established part of the broader Slow movement. The movement has since expanded globally to over 83,000 members in 122 countries.

Bio-Scientists everywhere look away as I attempt to summarize briefly the complexity of biodiversity. Nature balances systems based on feedback mechanisms. Bees and Frogs are a kind of feedback mechanism in Nature’s system of food production. The Bees pollinate flowers which enables them to turn in to fruit which in turn helps the plant reproduce and gives us and other animals something yummy to eat. Frogs keep the population of insects under control and are a good gauge about how our water systems are going. If the Frogs are not happy or not there, insects out of control and it is likely our water sources are in trouble.

Any system or structure that replicates the way in which Natural Systems communicate with itself and self corrects or adapts, copies the mechanism of Nature. This works in Psychology, Biology, Computer Science – e.g. Google, it works in Medicine and health creation also. It will, create and recreate community. If you use Nature as a model you will create something robust, powerful and something able to change and orient itself.

WHAT DO THE SLOW FOODERS DO?
Slow Food works around the world to protect food biodiversity, build links between producers and consumers, and raise awareness of some of the most pressing topics affecting our food system. These initiatives range from community activities organized by local convivia, to larger projects, campaigns and events coordinated by Slow Food’s national offices and international headquarters. They focus on the following areas of … well priority I guess you could say. I love it when passion, creativity and discipline meet because STUFF HAPPENS!

  1. Preserve Food Biodiversity
  2. Food & Taste Education
  3. Host International Events
  4. Hot Topics – Including the Bee situation! GMO! Food Waste! Indigenous Peoples! Meat production! Land Grabbing! Our Friends the Fish! Among many other hot topics. Check out the link

WHAT CAN I DO?
Couple of ideas …

  1. Visit Slow Food Melbourne and see what they are up to …
  2. Check out a Farmer’s Market or two and see what people are growing
  3. You could have a crack at growing something yourself? Yes? No? Soon?

Good Times! Peace Out.

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