COLORS MAGAZINE - ISSUE #69 BACK TO EARTH:
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who lives slowly. He tells us that we should exist in the moment, take our time, handle conflict with calm and when we brush our teeth in the morning, we should just brush our teeth. He also blames war on impatience. The frustration that lies in not getting something fast creates situations of conflict and strife.
Logically, 'fast' furthers our panic to produce quickly and make ourselves more efficient in the interest of monetary gain. The microwave zaps dinner in a flash so that we can keep working. Kids get the one-minute bedtime story because their parents are busy. Cars look more like airplanes.
The Internet delivers instantly. And food production follows market pressures to make standard, average goods that are cheap and easy to distribute. Health and nutrition are not priorities. But slowness survives in initiatives such as Terra Madre — a network of local producers who are a counter-force to the world of furious mass production.
Here we find people concerned about the shrinking varieties of apples grown in North America or the fate of the wild fish they work so hard to catch. They are patient and wait for years to make an ancient type of liquor, and they journey far into the mountains so their goats can eat fresh, clean grass rather than processed feed. They travel across the planet to save tropical plants from extinction.
And take the time to grow healthy food without greedy chemicals or damaging fertilizers. Slowing down has benefits valuable far beyond money. The dust and soil run through our hands.
The sun and rain receive special notice. We watch out for the seasonal influences that affect paddies of rice, the blood of grasshoppers, the habits of the sardine and the temperament of trees. We begin to treat our food the way we should treat ourselves. Fast has one great advantage, it has made slowness more special and more precious. As some produce becomes more expensive, it now demands purchasers’ money as well as their time. COLORS 69: Back to Earth asks you to slow down and meet a few people and the food they produce.
After all, you and your choices at mealtime will decide what we will all eat in the future.