Eden Canon talks about eco-anxiety, and how her work at EthicalFoods.com seeps into her dream life.
When I quit my job working at a coffee shop to become a writer, I did not expect that I would have anxious work dreams. However, with each issue of EF that is published, I find the key phrases of the topics I’m researching echoing in my thoughts as I drift off to sleep at night. While working on the Organic & Beyond issue, my work started seeping into my dreams.
At the time of my Zombie Apocalypse dream, I was undergoing a significant change in my eating habits. With each issue of EF, I elect to change something about my food related habits. The changes that we need to undertake in order to ethically grow and eat our food are daunting, time consuming, and a majority of the time, costly. I’ve found that small alterations, made over time, are the easiest to accomplish. However, the first really big step I took was to try to eat as organic and local as possible.
As I may have briefly touched upon in other pieces that I’ve written about CSAs or ethical meat sourcing—in light of the research that I’ve done for EF, buying food and even eating out has become anxiety provoking. I find that I get overwhelmed by the bigger picture—wondering what free range vs. cage free really means; about the real cost of food and how much of it I can honestly afford; about all of the resources that go into making my to-go coffee cup and what it will take to dispose of it.
When I made this change to organic and local food sourcing the first thing that struck me was how hard it was to find real food. When I subscribed to my CSA program, it was a great deal more expensive than going down to the Vietnamese market just four blocks away from my house and buying criminally inexpensive produce that allowed me not only to feed myself, but feed others within my budget.
I justified the expense of switching to local organic food by acknowledging that the ultra cheap produce I had previously purchased wasn’t real food. Most of it was genetically modified, and loaded with pesticides and herbicides. As most commercial produce is grown for the rigors of transport, its nutritional value, if it had much to begin with, would have deteriorated by the time it got to the market. This wasn’t real food; it was just sugar and fiber and water.
Real food is rare—and getting more so every day. GMO crops abound. Industrial agriculture leaches the soil of every last mineral and nutrient to grow massive monoculture crops. Once the ground is barren, it is propped up with chemical-laden fertilizers to imitate nature’s gift of life.
The more I research our food system, the clearer it is that we are headed towards self destruction. Petroleum resources will be depleted and our entire food network, nay, all of man’s networks, will fall.
And that was my dream. A horde of starving zombies chasing after the last, real green thing on Earth.