Weird sounding title I know but since when did we start defining ourselves by our food choices? Peer pressure? Instagram? Advertising? False news? Bad information? Health reasons? Moral reasons?
I have decided I am addicted to reading articles about food and diet and lifestyle choices. I do not read them for enjoyment I think mainly I read them to see how irritated they are going to make me. And without fail they do.
The other day I read "A long read" in "The Guardian" about some food guru with no nutritional training who had discovered that everything she had been eulogising about and had sold masses of books to her fans about, was in fact making her quite ill to the point at which she had to change her diet. The poor women then suffered abuse from her followers because she had sold them a lie blah, blah etc. Irritating because she was not trained and had no understanding of a balanced diet. Irritating also because the abusers had no idea about the aforementioned things either. Irritating also that instead of support and love from her followers she was turned on, chewed up and spat out by them.
Is it the world we live in at the moment where we just leap from one extreme to the other trying to almost avoid the middle ground, where solutions can be fashioned. Looking always for the extremist view. The place where we are led by people and companies with too much power and influence. Are we really as sheep like as I had thought. And if that is the case, why?......
I turn on the terrestrial telly and struggle to find anything interesting to watch. There appears to be a sea of reality TV shows with fake people or extreme people peddling their lifestyles be it from super poverty or super rich. Or programmes about dead people, or people who are about to be dead, or people finding out about why people became dead. Or competitive shows about who can cook, paint, dance or sew the best. Or quiz shows which I never watch as I am now so detached from British culture I never know the answers to the questions anyway. Watch French telly I hear you say. Yes I could, and occassionally do, but there are equally bad programmes on French telly, and I now know many French people who do not even have a telly in their houses. The problems in society are not just in the English speaking world they are everywhere.
All those vegan/vegetarians I know are probably thinking "Ignore her she is just trying to improve her meat sales". So yes maybe I am. Or maybe I am fed up with hearing from my farming neighbours who try to rear their livestock in ethically conscious conditions, about how the price of their produce is falling because it is no longer popular to eat meat, and they are having to think about shutting shop after generations of farming and selling locally.
Maybe it irritates me that the same people who tell me that eating meat is bad for the planet don't know enough about the cycles that are present in the environment and to keep a fully functioning ecosystem you have to maintain every part of it, from the meat bit, to the plant bit, to the soil bit, to the air bit, to the sunlight bit and the water bit.
Simply put soil is made from broken down animal and vegetable matter. You cannot have one without the other. To rebuild the soil which is being rapidly eroded worldwide you must have the two things working together to have the correct mineral balances to sustain life.
Somehow the education system is failing the planet by missing out teaching the basics in life, which should be taught at an early age while all these young supple minds are ready to absorb and understand and not be influenced by buzz words, soundbites and instagram. When big school age children are saying on national radio that the only way to save the planet is through veganism, we have a problem folks. If that argument can be backed by buying nutritionally balanced food, year round from producers within walking distance, who have grown everything in a sustainable fashion, then great I will applaud them, but will still not stop being an omnivore and will not stop rearing ethically produced meat.
Does anybody watch Ben Fogle and his people in the wild programme? I remember one episode that has stuck with me when he visited a woman in the US who taught people about how to live a stone age lifestyle. The food stuff that she was able to store during the winter to sustain her energy levels was animal fat that she had hunted and processed. What did she use to keep warm, animal skin, as do so many nomadic tribesfolk worldwide.
I hang on to the fact that at the markets in sleepyville where I hope to live out the rest of my days, I am surrounded by people who have not lost touch with the reality of life. How conected they are to the seaons and the earth around them. How many of them eat what is in seaon all year round. Food is the one of the fudimental requirements of life it is not something that should be used to define you, should not be something that should be used to control and psyche up the masses.
Don't misunderstand me. I am an advocate for sustainably grown local produce. Wherever and whenever possible it is our earth wide duty to stop looking for the cheapest or the most followed. Use less, eat less, make less waste. It is the way forward. But through using everything we have available to us harmoniously.
Isolating, isolation and extremism does not happiness, a circle or a cycle make.
See you all soon.
I am farming sheep and goats on the Dordogne/Gironde border with my husband and our 3 children. We have an on farm butchery and sell our meat direct to the public via the markets and delivery points in our local area