Source Unsplash Photy by Vladimir Kudinov
We live in a very unstable world and sometimes I have this feeling that the human race acts like we are immortal. We simply forgot some basic rules about life, nature and food.
Here’s the thing. We like to live fancy and we act like God on Earth, feeling in our element in the Consumption Era. Asking so much from nature without giving almost anything in return has become part of who we are.
Every day we pretend that we deserve something that is not actually ours. And just because we are humans and have needs we act like we’re the most important species on Earth. We destroy out of greed and lack of responsibility.
In today’s global economy it’s becoming a cool thing to open an urban garden or grow herbs inside. But how many of you remember that once upon a time there were farmers and people were eating good, healthy food? They have disappeared due to the population growth and the huge consumption demand. The markets have been replaced with supermarkets and probably most of the people out there don’t know where their fruits and veggies come from.
I grew up with fresh food but I was not aware of its importance until I started to move out and live abroad. I’ve realized how important the food education was that my father had provided me during the years.
During the summer one of the things I love the most is to help him out with his garden situated outside the city, on the other side of Danube Delta, the longest river in Europe with one of the greatest Delta’s on the Planet.
Here is why I think that gardening and growing food should be something seriously taken into consideration:
Our life style has an big impact on our eating habits. How many times have you been curious about what ingredients are contained in the food from the supermarket or what do you actually eat from fast-food or restaurant?
Knowing what you eat is important. When you buy processed food you have no control over the ingredients. Usually the labels don’t provide important information about how the food is made and what’s inside the products.
When we grow our own veggies or even seasonal herbs, we’re becoming more aware about the importance of what we eat. We don’t know what happens inside our body but we can definitely feel the long-term effects.
2. Stay connected
I think that gardening could change our perception of life. We are absorbed every day by so much nonsense and stressful situations. We work, we buy, we spend and so on.
Through agriculture and gardening we get back to our roots. We start again to appreciate the land that feeds us and discover the pure act of nurturing.
The plant growing process depends on so many factors. We’re suddenly starting to be able to put our own needs aside and be there for our plants – to take care of them and provide the environment that keeps them alive and helps them grow.
When we grow something with our hands, we feel relaxed, we are there. When the first flowers flourish and the first vegetables are starting to ripen, we know that we did something good. We learn to appreciate the nature and understand its (un) limited power.
3. Skills for life
The world will look completely different in 50 years from now. The side effects of technology, pollution and population growth will shape our future.
There are big chances that in the next few years, when we go to a supermarket, we’ll find none or limited, highly expensive organic food. Therefore I would say that gardening would become an essential skill for 21st century.
Working in a garden or in a food company could be your next cool job since the food industry has become so inefficient and companies like FoPo Food Powder are trying to innovate the industry and stop the world hunger.
4. Side effects
There are many faces of the same reality. Food has become an important issue lately.
Because what we eat is not the only thing we should be interested in. Where the food we produce goes and what are the real costs of producing it is the other side of reality.
Let’s take a simple example. We get into a supermarket and buy an apple. Usually, we feel that the price from the cash desk is everything we need to pay. In reality, there is much more than that.
That apple has been grown in an orchard. Probably a big company has invested big money in producing it. But besides the companies costs there are natural costs like water and soil. After the harvest, the company is using fuel and electricity to transport the fruits.
Now, there are two scenarios:
- If the apples don’t correspond to the supermarket standards, the fruits will not land on the shelves. Most probably the fruits will be considered garbage. Is cheapest to throw it away than spending money on transportation and feeding some hungry people with it.
- The apple is on the supermarket shelves now. There are pretty big chances that someone will buy it and eat it. Or, after the few days, the supermarket will receive fresh apples and the ones from the shelves will be thrown away.
When we grown our own veggies, herbs or fruits, we’re starting to understand the real costs of the food we eat. We’ll start pay attention to what really matters: our time, natural resources, the costs of the growing process.
By 2050 we’ll need to feed two billion more people. The question is, how can we do that without overwhelming and intoxication the planet?
According with FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations), 805 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
Gardening is teaching us about nature and ourselves. We learn to appreciate the natural resources but what’s more important, we learn to be responsible.
At the end of the month, we all expect our paycheque. We don’t want to waste money because we work hard and spend most of our time in the office. So, we value every cent.
But why not value the food? Why not being aware that our habits cost us money, time and in order to be able to buy food, we need to be responsible.