Convenient Food

What a privilege it is to live in a time and place where I don’t need to grow or cook my own food. Even as a poor graduate student I can purchase cheap take-out or microwaveable food. I’m still amazed that I can buy a $5 sandwich with meat from three different animals. We have come a long way from the times of hunters and gatherers. We’ve even come a long way from eating produce from local farms. I was raised to acknowledge this as a luxury but I’m starting to realize how harmful this disconnect from my food can be.

There is no doubt that I save time by purchasing prepared food, but I’m wondering if I’m giving away one of the most wholesome activities we have. Growing produce, making a meal with metta, and serving it to someone is a very intimate act. When food passes through a dozen hands before being consumed this personal connection to our food and the people in our lives is lost. This time we spend cooking and cleaning for ourselves and others can be energetically powerful, I think.

The problem I’m having is I can’t get over the luxury of free time. While intellectually I can’t think of a more wholesome way to spend my time my habit pattern is to take advantage of the freedom to be lazy. I know that I’ll eat healthier food when I shift my food patterns but its been a harder shift than expected. My mind knows the better, healthier path to take but I keep taking the easy way out. Maybe with time I’ll slowly shift this pattern. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

3 thoughts on “Convenient Food

  1. I have seen both ends namely tilling the land for hours together and eating like you do. I have traded one kind of suffering with the other and one continent for the other. Distant hills are always smooth. Change is constant. Pleasure equals pain.

    If you want to grow, cook, serv or eat, why wait? Just do it. Be happy where you are and with what you eat. Send meta to all food growers and workers who may not know but can feel their indirect touch.

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  2. you may see natural food (fruits&vegetables) as metta of nature, direct gift to you;) everyone benefits by eating this way, there’s no violence in fruits. you may start slowly if you wish, eating fresh fruit for breakfast, then adding vegetables, nuts, seeds, greens, etc to other meals with awareness that you’re changing your habits. observe your behavior and moods. i’m sure you’ll find it great! lots of metta:)

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