Let Wendell Berry Inspire You To Eat Real Food…

Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry


So who is Wendell Berry? Wendell Berry is an incredible thinker. Wendell Berry is an incredible writer. He’s an award winning novelist, economic critic and farmer! No wonder I love him.
I came across one quote of his this morning on a Facebook clip and it caught a thirst in me for inspiration and grabbed my attention. That made me try to find out more about this man and then I got a whole heap of more of that from him. I couldn’t be more inspired right now, to get through the difficult stuff that has come with this journey because I’m connected again to the greater vision, which is to bring nature and good farming back to our food.
As Wendell Berry got older, he got more and more concerned and outspoken about the degradation of nature by man. He is a fierce supporter of organic agriculture, stands for the fertility of the soil, the omnipotent power of nature’s infinite wisdom and intelligence and writes very powerfully about it all.
So I’m going to leave you this morning with the quotes I found from this great mind and some notes on what they meant to me. I can’t think right now of a better way to remind you why your participation in the change of our eating and food culture in this special town of us, is a vital investment in the future.
Enjoy.
“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say “It is yet more difficult than you thought.” This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
Wendell Berry
Into week 5 of our new service, I’m needing to revisit the vision against where we’re at and address the lack of motivation that creeps up when the challenges stack too high and you get lost in the day to day ‘doing, detail’. This quote reminded me to be comfortable with uncertainty and to trust it as a good place. When we’re uncertain – our minds are open funnily enough! We ask open questions ‘is this right’, ‘what is possible’, ‘and where should I go’? We leave room for answers and new ideas. We let go of our attachment to needing things to manifest in one particular way. When our minds are made up, we don’t, we shut down to possibility. This helped put the role of ‘doing’ and the ‘obstacles’ into great perspective. Maybe, the great point you could take out for yourself, is that when you hit an obstacle and it makes you doubt, when you’re asking questions – they take you closer to the edge of possibility.
“People are fed by the food industry who pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry who pay no attention to food’
Wow. I couldn’t have said that better myself. It reminded me this morning and I hope it does you, that there isn’t anybody out there caring about doing the right thing for our health. It sounds so obvious, and yet without realizing it, without being conscious of this fact, we outsource our nutrition to corporations and then our healing crises to the pharmaceutical industry. We have to take back the ownership of our nutrition – there isn’t anybody out there doing it for us and big food and conventional farmers certainly aren’t. We have to get corporations and factories out of our refrigerators and instead fill it with locally grown organic fresh whole produce. Factory ‘food’ is making their money at the expense of your health. It is pertinent to not forget that. This is why we need a food revolution. To take back our power and vote with our feet and buy from real farmers who are responsible with our earth and our future and our soil and who understand something about the interconnectedness of it all.
“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”
Wendell Berry
This reminds us that we don’t really have a choice if we want to avoid environmental crises and the kick-back that kills many when nature’s balance is upset.
“We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.”
Wendell Berry, The Long-Legged House 
“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”
Wendell Berry 
“I dislike the thought that some animal has been made miserable to feed me. If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade.”
Wendell Berry, What Are People For
This is where conscious eating leads. When we stop before every mouthful and every food purchase and say ‘what does this connect me to’ and ‘is this good for the earth’, we learn the earth. The answer teaches us of her needs. When we eat conventional pork, and we stop for a second and think ‘what am I investing in here’ and we see the pig stuck in a cage with no freedom and we see the antibiotics given to her to prop up her weak system, and we see the misery and we see the growth hormones used to fatten her and we see this toxic sludge washing away into water streams, and we say ‘no’ and put it down, we actively participate in standing for the health of the planet that hosts, sustains and feed us. We, in that moment, actively care for our planet and for the future of the land our grand children will inhabit.
“Eating is an agricultural act.”
Wendell Berry, What Are People for Essays By Wendell B 
This reminds us that our food is connected to soil and to agriculture. Agriculture and the way food is grown alters our landscape, our waterways, how much land is left for future generations, how polluted the soil, rivers, air and oceans become, every mouthful votes for a farm that either farms in such a way as to preserve the fertility of the earth such as organic farming, or serves to destroy it for profit as with conventional farming. Serves to put nutritious food in your mouth or wipe years off your life with their chemical and business efficiencies, increasing their bottom line while decreasing the years of your life. What is your choice?
 

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