perhaps you have noticed a great increase in people with many allergies lately? and wondered how humans made it this far….alive. inability to digest what we eat is one of the major problems filling up herbalists’ offices across the land. but why? obviously, the most important issue is that our food supply is a bunch of crap—salty-pesticide-laden corn, wheat and sugar made into many different cute shapes. yet many people eat that crap and do just fine. why?
well, i for one would prefer to eat a hot dog amongst friends than the most delicious healthy meal in a pit of vipers.
i would prefer to thankfully snack on a bucket of evil marshmallows than to resentfully down a bowl of kale.
i would prefer crap made with love, by hand, over microwaved “allergen free” “health food” eaten in front of the tv.
because though food can cure and harm, it is not always JUST the ingredients that affect us. the rituals, the feelings, the associations around our food all feed us.
you can eat all the coconut butter and acai berries and seaweed in the western hemisphere but still not be well.
wellness is not just the absence of discomfort. it is also connections-to community, to the earth, to our families and-most importantly- to ourselves.
anxiety about food and health can CAUSE indigestion! when i feel anxious i suffer from poor appetite, tension in my stomach, acid reflux, short transit time, churning “butterfly” feelings and indigestion-induced sleeplessness. which leads to more anxiety. which leads to more indigestion. which leads to more anxiety. which leads to more indigestion. which leads to more-well, you get the idea.
i am not alleging that it is all in your head. but sometimes some of the problem is in our heads, in our hearts and in our long-held ideals, value judgements and in our constant fears and worries around food.
resilience-physical resilience, emotional resilience–is at the root of wellness. for humans, for animals, for plants and the earth.
i do believe that it is best to try to eat in a healthy way. i do believe that sugar is poison and junk food has taken over and colonized our tables. i do believe it is good to eat local, to simmer bone broths and avoid most of the garbage they call “food” at the supermarket. however, i believe we need to do so for the right reasons and with a sense of humor, a sense of joy. this is not a battle, it is not a war. we are privileged to be able to choose good foods for ourselves.
truly good food is nothing less than a sacrament. and yet for some of us, a hot dog among friends can be a sacrament too.