What do you do after banishment from the Garden of Eden?
Pointe Viven - Jesse Bluma. All rights reserved.
Banishment from the Garden of Eden does not mean we have to toil in synthetic pesticides. Talking and listening to some Republicans I often hear doubt and resistance to organics and farmers’ markets. These knee-jerk reactions seem to originate from a deep appreciation and respect for the business and corporate world. The very utterance of the word “organic” is heard as “I hate food corporations”. Many baby boomers also have a negative reaction, this is the generation that came of age when domesticity, Americana, and working with your hands was pummeled by Arlie Russell Hochschild, Margaret Sanger, and Gloria Steinem. The resistance to organics and local farms is a peculiar one coming from any Republican, as this is the party identified with small business, appreciation for domesticity, and timeless ideas. Baby boomers, families with both parents working outside the home, and others have relied upon fast, canned, boxed, and frozen food. This has caused them to be disconnected from the origins and gift of sustenance. That means we must stand in front of large food production plants and protest them. That means we must regulate what fast food restaurants can sell. That means we must bash parents and guardians that rely heavily and solely on non-organics. No, actually the militant food police are no better. We don’t need to bash anyone or regulate the sizes of soda pop sold at fast food restaurants. We do have to know that parent aspirations and modeling are two of the strongest factors on children. This imprint on children often sets into place a generational cycle of eating habits. Yes, industrial food production has provided food at lower costs. Yes, corporate and fast food production has provided many jobs. Those two facts do no give reason to brush aside the possible need for improvement in your diet. This is not a demand, this is not a command, this is a shedding of light. We humans have a challenging time changing our minds and habits, liberating ourselves is a process. A new eating habit may take two months or more. Some people will and some won’t.
The next question is where to go from here. History sheds sun on the subject. Early man was nomadic, followed animal herds, and searched for natural crops. During the Mesolithic Era (10,000 to 5,000 B.C.) people invented better and better tools for hunting and fishing. Those in Egypt and Asia learned how to grow wheat and barely crops. Here we see the origins of agriculture and the domestication of animals. Mesopotamia, “The Fertile Crescent”, was a region in Southwest Asia. Some historians speculate this was the home of the Garden of Eden. People living in this area learned to control the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which provided water for more crops and livestock. The human population grew across the world and by 1000 A.D. horses and plows were utilized for more food production. As we can see people up until this point were still connected to the land and food. Most people were farmers or peasants and had a working knowledge of food. Now we don’t have to say today we must return to being peasants. It is only to underscore food knowledge is essential to life. In 1492 Christopher Columbus was the first of the Europeans to discover America. While some have the misconception that Columbus was stupid and should not be celebrated for his discovery, that is a topic for another time (Side note: Columbus was not a poor sailor, he as most others at the time relied on an incomplete map of the world designed by Ptolemy). Columbus‘ discovery opened up a time period of great trade between the Old World and New World, the Columbian Exchange. The Americas provided beans, cacao, maize, peanuts, pineapples, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, tobacco, tomatoes, and turkeys to Europe. The Europeans provided bananas, cattle, chickens, citrus, coffee beans, grapes, horses, onions, peaches, pigs, rice, sugarcane, and wheat to the Americas. The availability of more food was a blessing and essential to survival, population growth, and variety in diets. In the 1800s machinery was invented to increase food production and this equipment made farming a bit more easy. At this point in history most people were still farmers or came from a family of farmers. Again, that does not mean today we need to become peasants, farmers, or Amish. As we get to the 1900s synthetic fertilizers were developed, many family farms closed, both parents entered the work force, domestic skills were lost, and industrial food production became the norm.
When you are banished from the Garden on Eden and forced to toil in the fields does that mean you must abandon the totality of human knowledge and experience in order to escape? That’s the fundamental issue in today’s thinking. If I don’t want to be a peasant, a farmer, or housewife I must east pesticides, eat canned food with mega sodium, fast food, and frozen dinners with a million ingredients. If I want to be pro-business Republican I must assume eating organic food is for hippies and elitist lefties. These short-sighted views have consequences. As we study the past we are in awe of great achievements and struggles. We also laugh and scratch our heads and some of the actions man has taken or was allowed to get away with for far too long. In 10,000 A.D. how will this time in human history be judged? What will be said of our food choices? How much land will be polluted by synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers? Will there be any family farms? Eating organic foods, those grown without synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and radiation is a better choice. This can be done by using natural fertilizers (manure or compost), birds, rotating crops, and feeding livestock with what they would naturally graze upon is all part of the process. Growing a backyard garden and modeling a good food appreciation to your children is doable. Maintaining a healthy connection to food, domestic skills, Americana, and working with your hands is important cultural knowledge to keep alive. What we value as sacred is profound. This is how you actually liberate yourself; it’s not by knee-jerk reactions, The Feminine Mystique, or joining the Green Party.
For further information you way wish to visit the following sites.
United States Department of Agriculture: responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food.
Local Harvest: find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
Order my baked goods made with organic ingredients and quality control.
Join the Pointe Viven circle
credits: wiki.org, telegraph.co.uk