On this Thanksgiving Day, far too many of us are likely thinking that 2020 has given us little to be thankful for. I reflected on this, as I prepared this special edition of my Thursday Thoughts.
I admit to being technologically challenged. I understand about 7% of the potential of what anything with a screen has to offer. In the late 1970s, I had exactly one exercise in a biology course that involved the use of an Apple II computer. It was a novel assignment that I figured had no merit or future. If I remember right, I was charting Lynx/Snowshoe Hare population fluctuations. These computers are now museum pieces, and today's millennials now wear wrist watches with more storage capacity than computers that filled an entire room had back when I was a kid.
What I have learned about using this technology is that it many times gets overloaded with too much stuff, and simply stops working. Our smart TV, router, copier, laptop, and even our cell phones need to be unplugged, or have the battery removed, to reset everything, and then it all miraculously starts working again. The global spread of the Corona virus has caused most of us to hit the reset button.
Perhaps it's best described as a “pause” button, but it has forced many of us to re-assess our priorities. I know that we are a crisis-oriented society that reacts when there is a crisis. But our memories are short, so once the crisis is over, we tend to revert back to old habits. Remember when too many of us bought far bigger houses than we could afford, and the housing market tanked? How long did that stop us from buying and building excessive houses? What this current crisis has done is get some folks who had relied 100% on others to keep them alive to start dabbling in self-reliance. Forget the toilet paper hoarding-that was just embarrassing. But suddenly, we couldn't order day-old chicks, chicken feed, potting soil, vegetable seeds, fishing tackle, bullets, or canning supplies. Talk about hitting the reset button. These newbies to the world of self-reliance created havoc for us seasoned self-providers-and it was a great thing to see.
Unbridled consumerism was replaced by more time spent with family, more time enjoying what the natural world has to offer- like hiking, boating, fishing, hunting, camping, and exploring. People who had never before ventured into the woods were suddenly doing so. Unfortunately, many of them did not grow up learning that littering and chopping down living trees was just not done. But there they were, experiencing real life.
As we are admonished to stay home this Thanksgiving, and spend time only with our nuclear families, I am grateful for our health, and for our freezer and larder filled with homegrown, and locally raised food to get us through the winter. All we can do, really, is be prudent and strive to boost our immune systems. When did you last hear a government spokesperson advise us to boost our immune systems, to get plenty of rest, to get out and walk, to drink 3 quarts of water a day, to eat clean, nutritious, additive, glyphosate, antibiotic, endocrine disruptor, and growth hormone-free food? Too often, I still see the long lines at fast food drive-up windows, shopping carts brim-full of the very food that is making us sick, and carry-out restaurant food brought home for dinner. Why are we not advised to get into our kitchens, and learn to prepare our own meals from nutritious, whole food? To carry the reset button analogy a step further, think of our food as information that gets relayed to every cell in our bodies. Big Ag and Big Food lace our food with all sorts of confusing signals- endocrine disruptors, antibiotics, engineered genes, and preservatives. Our cells then receive mixed signals, and either stop working, or start doing funny things, like forming tumors. Hitting the reset button, by eating clean food, starts to reverse the effects of these faulty signals, and gets our cells back on-track to building a robust immune system.
The truth is that we cannot, and should not, rely on the government, but on ourselves to care for ourselves. We can't control viruses, but we can control how our bodies deal with them. Waiting it out for a vaccine, so we can keep on consuming the Standard American Diet, is not going to create a better world on the other side of the reset button. Only by working together, by changing our direction, from the Industrial Food model to the Regenerative Farming model, will we emerge healthier, and more resilient.
I firmly believe that Regenerative Farming may be only thing that will save us from ourselves. Big Ag and Big Food see themselves as the only way to feed the world. But their methods are designed to out-smart, conquer and poison nature. If the current pandemic has taught us one thing, it's that nature is, and always will be, the boss. Nature is tolerant of our abuses, to a point. But at some point, even the benevolent, nurturing womb that we call Earth has to say “enough of the abuse”. We won't kill the planet with our abuses. Nature will do just fine; it just may be that we humans won't be around to see it, on the other side of that reset button. If enough of us start supporting farmers who partner with nature to grow wholesome food, we can start to reverse the damage caused by industrial agriculture. It's a tall order, I know. But the only way that we can survive as a nation is by working together to heal the land, and ourselves. That's why I end most of my videos by saying:
“Let's Grow Together”