The largest area of our lives in terms of consumption is food.
Everybody knows that. It’s third economically, but pretty much informs all the other sectors including transportation and fuels, thus dominating on a foundational level.
So, trees. For us to really own this whole restoration thing, we need trees. Everybody also knows this. However, getting people to plant more trees based just upon an idea or an ethic is clearly not working. We’re putting up more suburbs and offices every day at record rates, scraping from the land what is supposed to feed and help our children breathe.
One single tree will transform 730 KILOGRAMS of carbon over its lifetime. There’s 40 billion tons in the air. And, with all our amazing technology, we have nothing else to sequester that carbon with. How do we get these things in the ground faster???
So, enter our diet. Since the food production system on this planet is the most important (we all need to eat), the global economy has the greatest stake in it. Any change in that would dictate global politics, the relations between nations, and, of course, the overall health of people and the environment.
So, how do we get more trees on this planet? Hmmm.
We eat the stuff that comes from trees. We make trees the greatest, most valuable resource we have by investing in them in our day-to-day lives by what we put in our bodies.
Apples, oranges, hazelnuts, pecans, tangerines, pears, pineapples, coconuts, papayas, nectarines, peaches, plums, Chickasaw plums, Mexican plums (two native to my part of the world), cashews, almonds. A full and healthy diet if I ever heard of one.
What’s so incredibly interesting is that we have so much carbon in our atmosphere, yet hardly any nutrition in our food anymore. Why is this? Because our food is made with carbon.
The health of our bodies is connected to the health of our soil. How do I know this? Because the quality of the soil is directly linked to the nutritional density of our food. And our food currently is 3-8 times less nutritious than it was in the 1950s*.
Basing our lives on perennial, or seed-bearing, agriculture is a severely beneficial change to our world. In doing so we strengthen our bodies, and pass on real and physical restoration of future generations.
And then, animals.
We all know animal agriculture is f*cked. But what many of us don’t know is how essential animals are to the planet being alive at all. Aka for us to be alive at all. Or our kids.
Animals, through grazing and roaming, once perpetually restored the land to greater nutrient density. They increased the nutrient density of all other food that came from the ground, and strengthening all those (like us) who fed off that whole system. Now that we have established property lines, put up fences, and made borders and boundaries, few animals can roam and heal the land like they once did. And especially with factory farms, the land is absolutely dying because of the removal of these animals and treatment of waste (check the link below) which effectively poisons us all.
However, there’s a big shift going on that you can be a part of.
Companies like Epic Bar are transitioning the culture. They are transforming the way humans interact with animals interacting with the land*. I won’t pretend to know a whole lot about it since my primary interest is perennial plants, but from what I’ve seen thus far the work is pretty amazing. Check out the Patagonia documentary below* for more.
Also, to Christians, or Jesus-people, or anybody who digs the Bible at all or just likes solid ancient wisdom for being a person: real food and interaction with the land is the main original ingredients for an awesome life and knowing G-d/the Divine/The Unnameable Thing We All Come From.
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”
Genesis 2:7: Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Y’all, whoever you are, whatever your religion or denomination, we’re wired to be with the land, to be with the soil. This is our purpose. This is our deepest intention: to actually be free by resting in a simple state of being, in simply being.
Reality is that the most important thing we can do is get real with our bodies, the soil, and each other and live in such a way as restores. Because if one loses, we all lose. And even if we don’t see that loss, our kids certainly will.
I love you all and hope nobody freaks out about where we are in history. Yes, we’re in a rough spot currently, but each of us has the opportunity to work in the real joy of being alive at this awesome time. And the truth is that the most important works we can do are to move into what we are made of: real food, real community, real communion with G-d through the land. In short, real life.
It doesn’t have to be stressful to change everything.
It’s actually restorative.
*Quality of our soil=quality of our food=quality of our bodies=quality of our lives
*Epic bar restorative animal ag
*Patagonia awesome food documentary
*Factory farming poop pools
*Food in the economy via USDA