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Can’t Eat Those Greens

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I’ve been thinking about how totally off target our collective ideal of life style is. Ideals all across the board often lead to conflict, but what i am noticing intensely is success being monetary with a large side of unease and depression.

money by itself is not a problem. Often the job that you have to keep to maintain the big pay check is not one the deeper self feels good about. I was at a Saint Louis Bread shop the other day, not eating but waiting as Jamie looked up directions for food and a bus station. There was a young man lying fairly close on in a booth seat who I overheard say ‘i hate my life. I am 23 and i’m a professor yet i might as well have not pulled through. The best part about it all is that i can’t recall ever being sober during the tests.’

Lower paying jobs also destroy ones well being. From looking at the people i know retail work just really takes it out of you without any positive benefit besides the straight cash. So what we have is a system where ideally you could work and then help support a quality life with the amount of income earned. However, truly good and clean food (even organic isn’t as clean as one might want to think) is tough if not impossible to find unless you grow it yourself or live next to a gardener.

You could buy fancy glass-bottled mineral water or you could move somewhere with a safe spring. It is a nice idea that a person can work for some much time and have a tender note that will compensate what they expended in time and energy by being able to be traded for an item that they need. I was playing in Manhattan and an Asian couple had their 4-5 year old give me a nice tip. The kid say go buy yourself a coffee as she was instructed to do by her parents who were standing and watching some 30 feet away. Being the whatever that i sometimes am, i said that i didn’t drink coffee. That it made my heartbeat too fast and it was also expensive. Well, she glanced back at her parents and then addressed me again, saying, ‘just get something good for you to eat then.’

She was right, that is the best a person can do in a city or common American lifestyle. If you are not growing your own food, the next best thing is to be a conscious consumer and make better buying decisions. If you have money, you may be able to afford high quality restaurant food, but even those foods can be prepared unconsciously or without all of the ingredients being ones you feel good about. If you are in a certain mainstream lifestyle, and even if you are out of the system, the eternal backwards loop, money can be a benefit in that better quality of what is available can be attained. It does not, however, make truly fresh and industrial farming free foods available. It doesn’t make you faucet run with undisturbed water. It is a tough issue.

Many people see having a good life as a high end 9-5 with big bonuses and this idea prevails to the extent that those with the financial capabilities to live independently by buying their own land or supporting local food sellers just don’t. This is the American way and the American dream. But who is dreaming, and whose dream is it anyway?

As a student, i was asked to write about what i thought the American dream was in the current times. I don’t remember exactly what i said, but i know i said it was about climbing rungs of the ladder, the underdog climbing up against odds to support himself and his community. I personally am putting myself on the bottom step. Step one, food is life, need food to eat, man needs to work, so work and eat, but do it in a way that compliments your well being. This isn’t advice, i just mean to point out that many people think living with less money, low tech and less convenience is third world, and i attribute this to a warped view of what a quality lifestyle is.

The present view is pervasive. In fact it is working its way into other countries that originally adhere to a more natural lifestyle that are now trying to imitate what Americans are doing. Americans build their houses out of metal, they say, so you see pictures of houses made all out of tin roofing. The skeptic in me remembers what a history teacher spoke to me, that you just follow where the money leads to get a more accurate view of past events.

Anyway, i have been in the spot where i had no way to buy shoes, no money or means of acquiring healthy fresh veggies or fruits, often didn’t have a place to sleep that was proper. If more people were honest with themselves, i would say that more people would say the same. The only way i have had success with having higher quality ingredients for life is to make what you can by yourself or get it from someone close that you know. Go on a long walk and get the other ingredients from nature, not social circles.

May all people experience a few weeks of lush scenery and air filled with life instead of harsh, noisy vibrations.

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3 Comments

  1. Your heartfelt narrative comes from a much newer Urban viewpoint than mine. Totally, in our society you can play the game and go for the cash.. however, enough is never enough, and the heirachial industrial revolution prototype followed by the boom after WWII, is now collapsing. The current indoctrination of young mostly urban persons concerning “Food, money, etc” is to me very sad.
    Having had 4 GGAunts who lived to over 90 who lived in the Ozarks and ate fish, hog, chicken, garden produce, fruit, nuts, wild game..were VERY Poor, but happy..
    the misnomer is about food itself and the Obsession about organic..all this home grown stuff was organic…carbon-based. And it takes a lot of work to grow and put-up. So people choose jobs in buildings and EXPECT someone else to slave to produce them Organic cheap food? And others don’t even work and expect others to give them food for free, and want Organic… which throws even “I work for Minimum wage” concept out the window, since drawing “Free food. housing..healthcare” makes a more money and free stuff than a minimum worker’s $1100 take home salary. The working person is paying for what those that won’t work get thus demoralizing someone who tries..until the whole economic system collapses from the greed on the top to the greed at the bottom..because the middle is sucked dry. So morally, a person must be self-responsible, either choosing to work for the man..aka “Capitalism” or getting “Off-the grid” OR developing alternative economics.. lifestyles and options for the future.

  2. Hi,
    This is amos. It is very good to hear from you grace! I hope all is well and know that you take an active hand in your wellness. I am very glad to hear from such a socially informed reader and person as yourself. I am in agreement with what you say about the importance of food and food from nearby the home. The lives of your great great aunts is a very good example of lifestyle and i wish it bears influence today. In a more concrete way it already has- the diet of a persons ancestors does affect the health of a current generation. The living now are coasting on their ancestors health (people who were active and ate food that had more nutrition) to the detriment of future generations. Maybe a generation or two could eat like shit but it will add up. It brings joy to me when i hear of a family history that includes vigor and proper food and well being. It is a blessing. What you say about the organic boom is completely true. Not too long ago everything was organic. A do have a difference of thought about the moral issue of the economic situation present today but i am still in agreement about your statement about people not wanting to work and expecting good food. I don’t think morals are required. A knowledge of ones body will do. If you listen to it, it says eat fresh and eat off of the land, and to do that you either have to help grow food or live in an alternative economy where a neighbor could say their quality produce. The man on top actually depletes himself of the benefits of contact with dirt and work and the food he consumes. A wise person higher in the hierarchy would still play in the dirt and work. One of many elements i find attractive about the Ozarks is that people are experimenting with alternative economies.

    Thank you for your well informed comments!

    • What is interesting is the concept of Ancestors diet.. lots of lard and lots of tobacco use.. not necessarily the diet but the genetic make-up has been passed and the sedentary lifestyles of today. Don’t know what you are defining as organic..the recent exposures post WWII..have had genetic manifestations possibly occurring as a phenotype in the second or third generation..huge increase in Autism..cancers.. and of course food chain ..such as bioaccumulations of PCB’s in fatty tissues..which has a toxic effect at .0003 ppb.. don’t know what the gluten problem is.. morals are one’s being true to themselves and to their ideals.. being responsible for self is a basic and just principle..so many double standards..TV Preachers..who say give to the poor and make exorbitant incomes..or like Einstein said “one cannot simultaneously pray for peace and prepare for war” and “the love of money is the root of evil”.. the traditional alternative Ozark economies were bartering and helping your neighbor, because there was little money..kind of like things today are getting..there is a balance that comes from living morally..”to one’s own self be true” ..logical sequence.. and Karma ALWAYS..and certainly not morality aka rationalization as seen in US Society..the rich should be good to the poor ..the poor should not covet what the rich have”Money”..(the poor are often much happier) the employer good to the employee..the employee gives 100%..the farmer kind to his animals and seeing they are always well taken care of..not lazy when planting or harvesting.. the Artist/Poet sees the truths others doesn’t and gives an important viewpoint understanding or provokes or just shares beauty..which is priceless..

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