We seem to know more today about nutrition than we ever have before – we have full nutritional profiles on every packaged food item we buy, and then we have books and websites to help us decode the labelling on foods. We are well versed in the benefits of organics over conventional foods, and health and fitness is a booming industry.
So why are food-related health issues topping the charts when it comes to causes of death? Obesity is certainly creeping across the world as one of the number one killers, in particular the health issues associated with the strain that excessive weight combined with lack of nutrition places on the body. The information is out there, yet still fast-food chains thrive and many children are growing up not knowing what a vegetable looks like.
Essential skills are being lost rapidly between generations – as we have become busier and more plugged in to technology, contactable anywhere, anytime, it appears that we truly have lost the wisdom in stopping and smelling the roses. Growing your own food is no longer standard knowledge passed down from parents and grandparents, it is considered to be a ‘movement’ subscribed to by a few earthy types.
As a result of gardening becoming a lost art in this busy world, we seem to have lost touch with where our food comes from. There is such a difference in preparing food for yourself, family and friends when you have nurtured the seeds and plants which provide said food. Even if you only have enough space to grow a few herbs in pots on a windowsill and add them to the fresh produce from the markets you still feel more connected to your food.
Eating convenience foods in front of the television or computer at all hours of the day and night is about as disconnected as it gets, yet this is fast becoming the norm for many people today. I would like to see the older generations who have not yet lost the skills of self-sufficiency and sustainability to have the opportunity to be seen and heard by the younger generations so that they may benefit from the wisdom from times past and keep the connection strong.
While I don’t necessarily agree with all of his recommendations, Jamie Oliver is doing wonders for the upcoming generation in arming youth and families with the skills and knowledge to feed themselves mindfully. I believe this kind of awakening is exactly what we need, and not a moment too soon! Change begins with a single person – what can you organise in your local community?