Passion can be but a spark that kindles a small trail. This initial flicker can lead to blaze a new path for an individual, however, fire cannot be controlled and can quickly change direction or simply flame out to a smoldering complacent end. Sustainability and organic were not words I had familiarity with until January 2007, but by February my entire outlook on food, health, business and life were realigned to this new found and obvious truth.
Truth is the only worthy pursuit in life and can only be uncovered through a process engaging and building upon ideas, words and action. This final paragraph of my “This I believe” essay states:
I believe in truth. It is the single most important thing in life. All ideas, words and action are rooted in the pursuit of truth. There are many possible paths to truth, but only one truth. I believe there is one correct answer for every question, regardless of the differing ways to arrive at it. All people have their own unique truth. For some, like my father it is found through math. The mathematical proof is his truth. It is indisputable, final and true. I, however, pursue a different truth. It is one that is filled with questions that can not be proved in any man’s lifetime. This truth can only be reached by bridging the chasm between known truth and the unexplained by blind belief. My truth exists on the other side of faith.
There are perhaps only a couple truths accepted throughout all of humanity. The first is the Golden Rule. From a secular standpoint, all can accept this principle as true. For me, sustainability is another unassailable truth as defined as any process that can be replicated continuously without any loss in quality and provides greater efficiency long term than any competing solutions. If one were to target a single facet of life as the most crucial and foundational tenant of sustainability, it would be organic food production. The argument for organic food is that of complete and simple logic. Dupont was wrong, better living through chemistry is not in fact better. Perhaps it can best be broken down to this simple yet complete phrase:
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollan
The blazed path of my sustainable credo recently had begun to waver. Mirroring it to Faith, doubt was not the issue so much as complacency and allowing myself to assimilate into the man designed ways of this world that often try to best an already perfect system. Fast food is fast. Sugar and salt taste good and the actions of today often do not reap their inevitable consequences until years later. I was lucky. America was lucky, and hopefully the world. The beginning of my crusade back in 2007 was shepherded by the books Fast Food Nation and the Omnivore’s Dilemma. Both amazing books that rightly sit alongside The Jungle as ground breaking examples that epitomize investigative journalism in the food industry.
The books have been widely read, but it is arguable that the message had not quite broken through. Our society has become a video culture. Why read the book, when there is a movie on the subject instead. Discussing the failures of this viewpoint are for another time. With this understanding, some took on the cause by creating the movies Super Size Me and Fast Food Nation. Both were excellent in their own right, but again neither completely broke through. In 2009, Food, Inc. was released. It is a summation of the most important facts and issues from both Fast Food Nation and the Omnivore’s Dilemma distilled into a 90 minute feature presentation. Food, Inc. shook me from my distracted state. It is the guide to rediscovering my Saint.