Love, Power, and Food
“Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.” -C.G. Jung
As I look around our current food system, I see power struggles everywhere. The results have been a 30+ year struggle with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes and no end in sight. Despite scientific studies, a booming weight loss industry, and medical specialists we have been completely ineffective in reversing the trend. The problems we face can be overwhelming, but then I refer back to Carl Jung and his powerful message. What if the answer is a s simple as that – LOVE. Before you think I’ve had too much of the “kool-aide”, hear me out.
Putting your hands in the dirt, planting a seed, pulling weeds, and providing water for a plant to grow is an act of love and brings with it an inner peace. Cooking a meal from scratch is an act of love, sharing that meal with others is sharing the love and fills more than just an empty stomach. Even the act of washing dishes, the warmth of the water and soap bubbles can provide an inner peace. Building a compost is an act of love, feeding the earth that provides us with so much. We often take from this earth and rarely give back. Food can connect us, both to each other as well as to the earth. Once power and profit enters the picture, it is not hard to see the damage. We all know that there is a correlation between the food related illnesses that are now epidemic and the rise of packaged, processed foods. If we all know this, then why does it continue? Power. Money. Lack of Love. The food industry has effectively made us believe that we don’t have time to cook and schools have stopped teaching skills of growing and preparing food. We fuel the imbalance of power, and with power love is lacking.
This Valentine’s Day, visit your local farmer. I have yet to visit a local farm that hasn’t poured immeasurable amounts of love into the food they grow. Pick up some fresh ingredients, take the time to get to know the farmer, thank them for their important work. Invite your loved one(s) into the kitchen and cook together. I think we can all agree that some of our favorite memories have happened in a kitchen – maybe it was cooking with Grandma, or doing the dishes with a sibling. Sit down at a table and enjoy the meal together, taking time to laugh, talk, and simply enjoy the company. Work together to clean up after the meal. Good food is love, it nourishes beyond vitamins, calories, and minerals. The meals don’t need to be expensive or complicated, simplicity is often best.
Sometimes the answer to our biggest problems are the ones that are the most simple. Choose love. Grow food with love or purchase food from those that have grown it with love for you. Prepare that real food with love. Share the food as an act of love for those around you. Clean up with a grateful heart. Compost, feeding the earth with love. It may be unrealistic in our lifestyle to do this every day, but when you do make extra so you can eat real food tomorrow as well. Packaged, processed foods are void of love and your money feeds their power. Choose LOVE! Share your stories – How has food brought more love into your life?