Real Food Is A Change You Start From Within
We’ve got a wave of new customers at the moment that are just bringing great energy. It’s a very solid type of customer, they don’t want extremes, they aren’t here to obsessively exercise control over their food and they’re not here for philosophy or dogma.
You just want real food and I’m super excited by this, I’m excited by the fact that being healthy has evolved away from extreme reactions to eating, it’s not about miserably tolerating swirly green drinks or attempting to find rapture through your meal anymore. Rather it has become a more real need for a more solid connection to what is real.
The new ‘healthy’ has an air of realism about it that probably has to do with us finding the balance and middle road somewhere as the pendulum swings so elegantly to her centre. Since the industrial revolution specifically where we stopped eating off the land and started eating off conveyor belts, we’ve been living in an extremely unhealthy era and consequently there have been some extreme reactions in response to the utter lunacy of the chemical eating age that became the norm.
I feel like we are finally starting to find the middle road, the place of compromise that is grounded. We are living in a modern world. Most of us aren’t going to land up on a farm milking our own cows any time soon. Most of us need to build our lives in this context and the new focus on eating real food is the way I think of normalising ‘health’. It doesn’t just belong to the elite few who hang out in health shops, it’s not even about health shops, it’s about the accessibility of farms producing real food.
My understanding is that the new successful retailer in this space will serve as a conduit between consumer and farmer. Previously the structure of capitalism that is fading fast, had the retailer as the landlord of our shopping and eating experiences.
It feels to me that what is changing is that the balance of power now swings more favourably on the side of the consumer. A consumer now empowered with access to information and to a voice through the power of social media. This is where the real change is happening because as the consumer has more power and a larger voice, they can shape the retailer and it’s the responsive retailer that will hear the call.
The call as far as I’ve heard it in my 3 years plus of being in this space, is for transparency.
Transparency could be thought of, I think, as a vehicle for ‘real’. Transparency makes things real. Transparency reveals illusion. If you can be successfully linked to the producer of your food, to the real farmer and be given real information about how this real farmer, really farms, you would be able to connect with real food.
I think this is broader than food, I think that it’s a response from all of us to having a series of failed illusions about life sold to us . I think, collectively, we’re yearning for a new ‘real’ and we’ve had it to tears with being sold illusions.
I wondered this week-end, thinking deeply about this, whether this is a broader call? I think it is.
Can we just get real about food without changing the landscape around us that is set up for illusion?
And can we change that landscape without first changing our own inner landscape? I think that what is reflected without is a reflection of what’s within and I think we need some to unconditionally accept the limitations of our own humanity in order to be equipped with the ability to let go of needing illusion.
Are we truly ready to see things for what they are?
Are you ready to find ‘real’ the most valuable journey perhaps of your life?
Are you really ready to hear that the ‘realness’ of you is imperfect and see the perfection in that? Are we willing to be vulnerable in our real humanness?
If we really want to be rid of the illusions that the marketing departments of every company delude us with, are we ready to become the people we need to be to embrace that kind of naked realism?
I realized this week-end, that getting ‘real’ has repercussions and consequences way beyond our conscious eating journey.
I can’t see us being ready to let go of the illusions sold by big food and being ready to be connected to real farms and the real ‘what is’ about food until a fundamental shift has happened inside us. A shift that creates capacity for us to hold a new vision of real beauty. A vision that accepts the imperfections of life and the imperfections of real.
So the questions I ask myself and I ask you then, as we lay down a path from you to the farm, shedding away marketing logos and illusions as we go, are, am we ready to live in a world without illusion?
Am I prepared to square up to myself so firmly and so unconditionally, that I don’t need to flee ‘what is true and what is real? It’s only then that we aren’t vulnerable to marketing and illusion.
If you want to let go of the illusion sold to you of the perfect body through the company marketing the latest yoghurt to you, are you ready to look at the areas of yourself that are vulnerable to that kind of marketing, are you ready to accept the imperfection of your body? Can you really be real and are you prepared to learn how to love and accept what is?
When you are, you’re ready for real.
As I’m thinking about this more and more and embracing this real food journey more and more, I find it encroaching into every area of my life. If I want to sell real food, if I want to sell ‘real’, I need to be ‘real’ and we need to have real conversations in a very real space and we all need to be prepared to confront the myriad of illusions we’ve been sold about life and be willing to let them go.
We have been sold illusions through-out. We were sold illusions about success, we’ve been sold illusions about marriage, we’ve been sold illusions about what love is, we’ve been sold illusions about beauty, we’ve been sold illusions about being parents, we’ve been sold illusions about what women are, we’ve been sold illusions about what men are, we’ve been sold illusions and we’re all running around pretending that things are ok when they aren’t, too scared to reveal that we’re human. STOP.
Print media serves to perpetuate this until we have done the internal work required that has us ready to step forward as a new consumer and say ‘we want what is real’.
I’m dedicated to doing whatever I can to get real food from real farmers onto our plates and to take this Jozi real food revolution paces forward.
It requires that we become comfortable with facing what is and letting go of our own need for denial and illusion.
Are you truly ready to be real?