Category Archives: Why?

Welcome to the Planet!

I’ve already spouted off about Earth Day before. So, you know how I feel. Here’s my rousing speech for the masses celebrating the planet we live on this Thursday. (Warning: Satire ahead! Please put your tongue in your cheek before reading.)

Hello everyone! Welcome to the third planet from the sun. Some of you have traveled a long way to be here for this celebration. I understand that Mercury was experiencing some especially hot weather and Venus just doesn’t have seasons the way we do here. Some of you may have come from Mars, but we’re not really sure if there’s life there yet. From what I can tell, it seems like a rough place to raise kids at least. So, welcome to the planet we like to call Earth.

From what I can gather, many of you don’t actually live here for most of the year. So, we are especially privileged to host you for Earth Day, where we remember and honor the planet that gives us cool stuff like iPods and the Nintendo Wii. We would be very bored without the ability to exploit the resources of Earth.

Some of you come from planets like the United States where there are abundant and infinite resources. I don’t know how you do it, but I’m glad you don’t live on this planet, because we couldn’t do it. It’s wonderful to have places with infinite resources to show us what is possible. Someday, perhaps, we will be able to leave Earth and move to this paradise, but for now we can dream.

Many of you create food out of thin air in your world. Your science makes it possible to create all that you need to live in the lab. At one point in history you were confined by the limitations of the Earth. Thanks to the exploitation of this world you are now able to live however you want where you live. The Earth has sacrificed to further the progress of our people. That is why we have this day to honor and remember what Earth has given in order to make us happy and rich.

We also remember all the dinosaurs and coal miners that have given their lives for a greater purpose. Their deaths were not in vain. Whether millions of years ago or this year, dinosaurs and coal miners alike have sacrificed their lives because they believed in something bigger than themselves. Their contribution to freeing the human race from the limitations of nature and this planet will always live on in our memory.

So, this Earth Day be sure to honor our planet and those who have come before us by flushing as often as possible. Leave the lights on! Go ahead, it’s what the dinosaurs wanted. Take a long trip with the family! Celebrate Earth Day in a way that reminds you that the other 364 days of the year you have freed yourself from this God-forsaken rock and achieved the purpose of the human race. Thank you and God bless the United States of our solar system.

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Revolutionary Road

08movie-Revolutionary-Road.jpgA phrase has occurred to me over and over again in different contexts and about different things. It is “the way we organize ourselves.” Economics is just that, “the way we organize ourselves,” our societies and systems of governance. “The way we organize ourselves.” What we don’t often recognize is that these are choices we make every day. We can’t simply choose for the world to be other than it is, but we sure as hell choose to go along with it or not.

I watched Revolutionary Road recently and this is what hit me most. We are the choices we make, both collectively and individually. Those who are brave enough to walk the revolutionary road open up new paths and possibilities for us to walk down. The tragedy is that it takes such enormous strength for those who sense something is not quite right to make a break with the flow of culture and society. The pressure to conform and not rock the boat is tremendous.

Why is that some choose to make a break with the mainstream? Why do some take an unconventional path? Who are these deviants, willing to forgo the affirmation of friends and neighbors? There seems to be something just a little off about those who are willing to disturb and discomfort others. Like the prophets willing to eat scrolls, lie naked on their sides or create a spectacle of themselves to shed light on the lunacy of our lives, some of us are unwilling to accept the world as it is simply in order to live the life we’ve been sold.

Our good friend James Nors, who runs a raw milk dairy down the road in Abbott, TX, is one such non-conformist. He doesn’t fit the mold of a punk. He looks more like your typical farmer than anything else. He wears a mesh baseball cap with some tractor logo on it. He grew up as a dairy farmer. It’s in his blood, he’d say. Somewhere along the way he was introduced to the Weston A. Price Foundation and began to wonder if he could make a living as a raw dairy farmer.

People in town thought he was crazy when they found out. He had stepped outside the circle of what was acceptable. When people do that they challenge the status quo and upset the balance that allows everyone else to continue living as if this is the way it is supposed to be. It turns out that he wasn’t the only one that thought “the way we organize ourselves” wasn’t working so well. He now sells raw milk, free range eggs and heritage breed turkeys directly from his farm. Co-ops from Waco and the Dallas/Fort Worth Area pick up milk every other week or once a month. He sells out of everything he produces.

That’s exactly why it didn’t work out for the couple in the movie. They went it alone. Trying to take on on entire culture, system or “way of organizing ourselves” alone is the definition of madness. BUT when you realize that there are others like you, a whole lot of others, suddenly trying to find a new way to organize life together seems, not only possible, but the only sane option in a crazy world.

May you find others to walk with you on your revolutionary road.

The Long and Short of It

Tonight I am teaching at Meadow Oaks Baptist Church where I’ve been a member for about 4 years. I am teaching about my journey and calling toward agricultural missions and understanding the role food plays in our lives, globalization and justice. This is a pretty concise summation of why food is so important, my theology of mission and how food fits into God’s mission for the world. By concise I mean I had to cut a whole lot of important stuff out. Luckily I have a wife who listens to me ramble and tells me which parts to cut and which parts don’t make sense. So this is both very long for a blog post, but too short to say everything I wanted.

The full text after the jump.

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There IS Such a Thing as a Freegan Lunch

I mentioned freegans a while back on this post. Cory Doctorow recently suggested slightly tongue-in-cheek that airlines offer a freegan option for meals. For those unfamiliar with the concept these are basically people who choose to live off of the waste of the rest of us. They are dumpster connoisseurs. Now, you might think, “What’s the difference between this and being homeless?” First, homeless are not choosing to eat this way. Second, freegans are finding perfectly good food that is being thrown away. This reminds me of what my friend ray does, feeding the poor and homeless with leftovers from Olive Garden and Starbucks.

Is freeganism more than just a statement? Is it a philosophy of food to embrace as a solution? My own thought is that freeganism serves to highlight what is wrong with our food system. The people who practice it are like the prophets of old calling us out and pointing out our own hypocrisy. This is not a solution to the problems of our food system.

The picture below is all food that was found in dumpsters (via emoware). Thoughts?

food from a dumpster

Food Racism

Colorful food_pw.JPGWhy do we subsidize white foods, but not foods of color? Are we food racists? Once again the archives of the Food Chain have come up gold with Show #552: Foods of Color. Michael Olson never finishes his analogy, but I couldn’t help myself. White foods are those refined ├╝ber-processed food-like substances composed mainly of corn.

Foods of color are the blessed variety of plants that God intended for us to eat. How many fruits or vegetables can you think of that are purple? Orange? Red? Yellow? Green? For some people thinking of foods this color that are not candy or cereal is really hard. So c’mon people… don’t discriminate! Down with food racism! Power to the Plants!