Food in the 21st Century
by Tanis Helliwell
I would like to offer three possible ways that we can think of living and eating in this next hundred years. The first of these is to grow and consume food that is in alignment with a healthy Earth. Recent research on GMO foods indicates that microRNA, which is genetic material, passes from the food and our digestion system into our blood and from there to our organs where it affects them thereby causing cells to lose their identify and function. This results is increased cancers, sterility, neurological diseases to name a few. Monsanto and Dupont, the villains in this scenario, have stated that they do not need to test the DNA of modified foods and they are “presumed” safe. Well they are not. We are what we eat and GMO foods are actually changing our DNA.
Bill Gates with his non-profit foundation is marketing himself as a“savior of humanity” whereas he is promoting Monsanto whose only interest is to create a monopoly in seeds and foods and control the world food market.They want profit and control no matter the cost and they have no inhibitionswhatsoever to use whatever it takes and if this means wiping out large parts of humanity. As you can read in my book Decoding Your Destiny genetic engineering took place in Atlantis that took humanity off its evolutionary tract and we must all make sure this does not happen again.
In this last ten or twenty years we in western countries have become increasingly interested in eating organic food and non-genetically modified food. We can see by this research that it essential to do this. Even as I write this column I am in a small town in Mexico where the supermarket has organic foods, soya milk and rice dream and where vegetarian options are available in several eating establishments. In consuming healthy food we do not pollute the Earth with unhealthy chemicals either to grow the food, or through the waste our bodies excrete from processing or consuming the food.
Another thing we can do to eat healthily, and many of us have discovered the joy of doing so, is to grow our own vegetables and fruit. The elementals love this and work closely with gardeners. This benefits the Earth, us and all who enjoy the food we grow and through this we learn to know and love the Earth more deeply.
This is a start, I believe we need to go a step further. I am not speaking of giving to starving people throughout the world and erasing world hunger—although this is a given. I am speaking of totally changing our relationship to food and sharing in our personal life and communities. In the 21st century sharing of food for free will change our world. Vincent Graff wrote an article in the Daily Mail in the UK in December that explains the many benefits of doing this. It concerns a small Victorian mill town of Todmorden in West Yorkshire that has committed to make Todmorden the first town in the Britain that is self-sufficient in food and they give food “for free” to whoever wants it. My father's family came from Todmorden almost two centuries ago and so I am doubly interested in what they are embarking on as I am a committed environmentalist.
The article in the Daily Mail is so packed with good practical information on how to do this and on the impact on all the town residents including lower crime rate etc. since they started doing it that I would love you to read the abridged article and so include it here.
“Outside the police station in the small Victorian mill town of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, there are three large raised flower beds. If you’d visited a few months ago, you’d have found them overflowing with curly kale, carrot plants, lettuces, spring onions — all manner of vegetables and salad leaves. Today the beds are bare. Why? Because people have been wandering up to the police station forecourt in broad daylight and digging up the vegetables. And what are the cops doing about this brazen theft from right under their noses? Nothing.
For the vegetable-swipers are not thieves. The police station carrots — and thousands of vegetables in 70 large beds around the town — are there for the taking. Locals are encouraged to help themselves. A few tomatoes here, a handful of broccoli there. If they’re in season, they’re yours. Free. So there are (or were) raspberries, apricots and apples on the canal towpath; blackcurrants, redcurrants and strawberries beside the doctor’s surgery; beans and peas outside the college; cherries in the supermarket car park; and mint, rosemary, thyme and fennel by the health centre.
The vegetable plots are the most visible sign of an amazing plan: to make Todmorden the first town in the country that is self-sufficient in food.
‘And we want to do it by 2018,’ says Mary Clear, 56, a grandmother of ten and co-founder of Incredible Edible, as the scheme is called.
‘So what’s to stop me turning up with a huge carrier bag and grabbing all the rosemary in the town?
‘Nothing,’ says Mary.
What’s to stop me nabbing all the apples?
All your raspberries?
It just doesn’t happen like that, she says. ‘We trust people. We truly believe — we are witness to it — that people are decent.’
‘This is a revolution,’ she says. ‘But we are gentle revolutionaries. Everything we do is underpinned by kindness.’
The idea came about after she and co-founder Pam Warhurst, the former owner of the town’s Bear Cafe, began fretting about the state of the world and wondered what they could do. They reasoned that all they could do is start locally, so they got a group of people, mostly women, together in the cafe. ‘Our thinking was: there’s so much blame in the world — blame local government, blame politicians, blame bankers, blame technology — we thought, let’s just do something positive instead.’
She takes me over to the front garden of her own house, a few yards away. Three years ago, when Incredible Edible was launched, she did a very unusual thing: she lowered her front wall, in order to encourage passers-by to walk into her garden and help themselves to whatever vegetables took their fancy. There were signs asking people to take something but it took six months for folk to ‘get it’, she says.
They get it now. Obviously a few town-centre vegetable plants — even thousands of them — are not going to feed a community of 15,000 by themselves. But the police station potatoes act as a recruiting sergeant — to encourage residents to grow their own food at home. Today, hundreds of townspeople who began by helping themselves to the communal veg are now well on the way to self-sufficiency.
Incredible Edible is also about much more than plots of veg. It’s about educating people about food, and stimulating the local economy. There are lessons in pickling and preserving fruits, courses on bread-making, and the local college is to offer a BTEC in horticulture. The thinking is that young people who have grown up among the street veg may make a career in food.
Crucially, the scheme is also about helping local businesses. The Bear, a wonderful shop and cafe with a magnificent original Victorian frontage, sources all its ingredients from farmers within a 30-mile radius. There’s a brilliant daily market. People here can eat well on local produce, and thousands now do.
So what sort of place is Todmorden (known locally, without exception, as ‘Tod’)? A third of households do not own a car; a fifth do not have central heating. You can snap up a terrace house for £50,000 — or spend close to £1 million on a handsome stone villa with seven bedrooms.
And the scheme has brought this varied community closer together, according to Pam Warhurst. Take one example. ‘The police have told us that, year on year, there has been a reduction in vandalism since we started,’ she says. ‘We weren’t expecting this.’
So what has it happened? Pam says: ‘If you take a grass verge that was used as a litter bin and a dog toilet and turn it into a place full of herbs and fruit trees, people won’t vandalise it. I think we are hard-wired not to damage food.’ Pam reckons a project like Incredible Edible could thrive in all sorts of places. ‘If the population is very transient, it’s difficult. But if you’ve got schools, shops, back gardens and verges, you can do it.’
Mary says ‘What we’ve done is not clever. It just wasn’t being done.’’
Find out more here (Daily Mail Link)
The second story I have chosen to share with you goes even further into what is possible for each of us to do in the near future. It is about individuals that have not eaten for many years and who are perfectly healthy. They live on “prana” or light energy from the Sun. More individuals are now choosing to be vegetarians and vegans and humanity as a whole is moving closer to a time when we will all be living on prana. This may not be in the next 100 years but will likely be the case in the next thousand. This 95-minute Austrian documentary interviews people who have not eaten or drank for many years. They are the forerunners for what all of us will be doing in the future.
Here is a trailer on what is possible and the film will be released in English in 2012.
A trailer with english subtitles can be found at:
Below are links to people who have not eaten for several years: