People. & Food

(or Truth, take 2) So, I was talking to this insightful man recently. A Canadian born in Italy, a country known for its love of really good food.

& he said (quoting from a permaculture course he took last year), that the only things in life that really matter are

  • people
  • & food

& I thought, “Yeah, you got that right.”


p.s. & didn’t I a short while later wind up reading a novel (the Alexander McCall Smith “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” one called The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection[1]) in which food figures largely. One of the chapters is called ‘Food Cooked with Love Tastes Better.’ Is this not so??

Quote of the day: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

A few other good quotations:

“We live in a world that has practiced violence for generations – violence to other creatures, violence to the planet, violence to ourselves. Yet in my garden, where I have nurtured a healthy soil-plant community, I see a model of a highly successful, non-violent system where I participate in gentle biological diplomacy rather than war. The garden has more to teach us than just how to grow food.” ~ Eliot Coleman, Four-Season Harvest

“This ... dream reminded me of another I had heard years before, in which a man was in a restaurant and ordered a steak; instead he was served a large platter of beans. That dream sounded like a Zen story to me and led me to reflect for a long time on the value of plain pedestrian food, especially when we consciously order up something more special. Life has a way of plopping extreme ordinariness in front of us when we are entertaining exotic gourmet daydreams.” – Thomas Moore in Care of the Soul

“The idea of absolute freedom is fiction. It’s based on the idea of an independent self. But in fact, there’s no such thing. There’s no self without other people. There’s no self without sunlight. There’s no self without dew. And water. And bees to pollinate the food that we eat…. So the idea of behaving in a way that doesn’t acknowledge those reciprocal relationships is not really freedom, it’s indulgence.” – Peter Coyote

“When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”            – Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife, Brazil

“I learned from my two years’ experience that it would cost incredibly little trouble to obtain one’s necessary food, even in this latitude; that a man may use as simple a diet as the animals, and yet retain health and strength. I have made a satisfactory dinner, satisfactory on several accounts, simply off a dish of purslane (Portulaca oleracea) which I gathered in my cornfield, boiled and salted. I give the Latin on account of the savoriness of the trivial name. And pray what more can a reasonable man desire, in peaceful times, in ordinary moons, than a sufficient number of ears of green sweet-corn boiled, with the addition of salt? Even the little variety which I used was a yielding to the demand of appetite, and not of health. Yet men have come to such a pass that they frequently starve, not for want of necessaries, but for want of luxuries; and I know a good woman who thinks that her son lost his life because he took to drinking water only.” – Henry David Thoreau, in Walden (p. 57)

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Bob Waldrop, the man behind the Oklahoma City Food Cooperative

“There is not one grain of anything that is sold on the free market in the world. The free market exists in the speeches of politicians.” ~ Dwayne Andreas, CEO of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), as quoted by Anna Moore Lappé, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) Winter Conference, 2005

“You must locate your deepest private feelings – philosophical, religious, spiritual – and then decide to live out these beliefs in a commensurate way, in public, as much as possible without compromise.” – Marv Davidov, peace activist (quoted in Nukewatch Quarterly, Spring 2012 issue)

& I could go on (& on), being the Quotation Lady…but I have other things to do…

[1] I highly recommend this writer, btw. He is gentle, witty, insightful & wise. If you are not the detective novel type, try out his books anyway. They are really their own new genre, I’d say. Not detective novels or mysteries at all. & if you don’t take to the “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” novels, read the ones from one of his other series. They’re a delight! The Right Attitude to Rain is one of my favourites.