MamaEarth’s guide to SUSTAINABLE LIVING
Who of us would willingly choose to harm the people we feed, the earth that feeds us, the water that nourishes it and the air we breathe? Most of us would prefer the chickens we eat to be clucking birds rather than nervous pecking wrecks, the food we eat to be rich with the bounty of mother nature rather than laced with chemicals, and the ground and water that convert dust and droplets into life to be a source of nourishment rather than a dumping ground for toxic chemicals. If convenience and urban living force us to err, at least we could require the industry that feeds us, and feeds off us, to be our allies rather than our dupes, marketing happiness and health under a cloak of deceit.
Research is corroborating common sense. Happiness and health flourish where there is community, balance between give and take, respect for diversity and for the inherent value of every living entity. Climate change, a rapid increase in allergic disease, depression, cancer and pill popping are token signs that we are dropping the wrong seeds into our Gaiasphere. Rot, once seeded, spreads. But the opposite is also true. We can sow our seeds wisely and halt pollution of earth, food, water and ourselves, by cultivating better values and more sustainable habits.
What’s to be done? Part of the solution lies in using the power of petitions, being vigilant at restaurants and reading labels in supermarket isles. But the power of choice is our strongest weapon. It works not only for each one of us and the people we feed, but it impacts on processes used by the industry. There are dozens of books on the subject and committed lobby groups of which MamaEarth is one.
Education is our best hope for building a sustainable future, so that the today’s children, as tomorrow’s managers, put health before profit, or at least marry profit to health. Peer pressure is a great source of leverage and parents, who have a gift for making their kids proud of standing up to junk food, deserve everyone’s praise. Even better are those who influence the food served at tuck shops, replacing crisps, donuts and sodas, with whole grain sandwiches, peanut butter, eggs, nuts, salads and fruit.
The impact is greater when we partner with others. Hence forming buying cooperatives among neighbors to support local organic farmers, adds fuel to the cause. Putting vegetable gardens into schools, homes and community facilities is an ideal stepping stone to a self-sustaining future. There are programs in which members of a community collectively pool their weight loss and support one another in a weight losers club, exercising, eating and buying together and using their clout to impact the industry.
MamaEarth runs a program to introduce sustainable living in schools. In the 4th of our 4 part series we summarize the plan. Join our campaign to unite MOMS AGAINST SUGAR AND STARTCH ABUSE and follow our blogs in the coming weeks to learn
Part 2. Foods that harm and foods that help.
Part 3. Labels that cheat and confuse
Part 4. WHEN and WHY ‘ORGANIC’ means something and WHAT it means
Part 5. Education for sustainability
Register for our updates or log onto the web site mamaearth.org.za and digest our explanations, one bite at a time.
Dr Ruth Rabinowitz