Food production: Beware the yeast of the pharmacies

Originally posted June, 2009 @

‘Man cannot live on bread alone’, says the proverb. In this day and age the proverb should be ‘man cannot live on bread at all.’

Food. We spend a lot of money on it. We spend a lot of time thinking about it. We spend a fair amount of time eating it. But we seem to be spending less time preparing it. We spend less time enjoying it. And as a result we spend less time enjoying one another, and less time enjoying the beautiful provision of God.

Instead of giving thanks for the fruits of our labours and the abundance of the earth, we give thanks for processed chicken, packet gravy, frozen beans, dehydrated potato flakes and other such adulterated products.

We give thanks for white bread, white sugar and men in white coats who manufacture little white lies called artificial flavourings. If we stop to give God thanks as we rip open that moist paper wrapped around a burger or pop that styrofoam box, then we are giving God thanks for something that is slowly killing us.

We give thanks for poison that hardens our arteries, causes heart disease, raises cholesterol, damages livers and causes diabetes. We give thanks for the packaging and chemicals that are clogging the environment. Ironically we are giving God thanks for our participation in the spoiling of creation.

We laugh about Grandma’s taste buds and her wistful recollections of the flavours of yesteryear. Grandma’s taste buds may have faded but they haven’t failed her. She is right! Fruit and vegetables don’t taste as good as they used to. Crops are harvested early, they are sprayed, irradiated, packaged, held in ‘controlled atmosphere’ cool stores and shipped around the world. Ground beef labels in the USA state, ‘Product of Mexico, US and Canada.’ That’s a lot of cows in a one pound tray.

New Zealand lamb is raised on green grass on an island thousands of miles from the dinner table. They are slaughtered, frozen and shipped or flown to supermarket chains as far away as England and everywhere between.

While Europeans nibble on lamb racks from the land of the long white cloud, New Zealanders are frying up bacon made from Chinese or Canadian pork. Shopping is done daily not to ensure freshness of ingredients but to ensure an illusion of convenience. The great catch cry of the 21st century: “Give me convenience or give me death!”

We as the consumer have very little say in the short term about how our food is grown, or where it comes from. Those of us with higher incomes have a greater flexibility in deciding what food we eat but those on a budget or constrained by transport or location often have to buy the food that is cheap and easily available.

One thing we do have control over however is how we run our kitchen, how we stock our pantry and how we prepare and eat our meals.

Food production: Beware the yeast of the pharmacies

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