Friday, March 12, 2010

A Seed Was Planted...

Over the last ten years I have slowly become more and more concerned (in a very cerebral way) with the value of my consumption. I imagine that one of my triggers for this deep thought and reflection came from the fact that I was (and still am) a teacher of adolescents. After the first few years of growing pains in my profession and feeling as though I was comfortable with my content and planning, I began to think of the bigger picture - besides the math I teach my students, what is REALLY important for them to know in this world? This was a big question for a twenty-something, still living at home with mom, to answer.

I remember beginning to incorporate personal finance into my weekly units, character education and jumping on whatever "teachable moments" I could find that may or may not be math related. I remember becoming more cognizant of what was being played on the radio, on television and what types of stories were getting play on the local news. I remember being very nervous about the world "my kids" were being brought up in. I remember arguing with my mother who said THESE KIDS weren't my children and I shouldn't worry so much. I told her she didn't understand, she told me I didn't understand and, at night, we would both lose sleep over our children who weren't listening...

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American MealAnd then one day, while in the bookstore and thinking of "my kids" again, I saw a book called Fast Food Nation and I thought, I need to read this... so I can know what else to teach them, so I can truly see what our world has become. They were my motivation to read the book, but the book changed ME forever. This book started my obsession with the insanity of not only "my kids'" world, but my own - what have I done? What haven't I done? What can I do?

Fast forward to the next decade: I am 33 years old, now married, but still with no children of my own besides those I teach. My mother passed away nearly four years ago, at the age of 58, from cancer and last year I was diagnosed with a rare disease, IIH - idiopathic intracranial hypertension (, which damaged my optic nerves leaving me with 20/40 sight WITH corrective lenses and currently dependent on a drug that is not approved to take during pregnancies. I don't feel especially healthy, I feel like life has been put on a little bit of a hold and put through a bit of a wringer as well... I would like to grab hold of the reins again.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four MealsThe last book I was reading before my sight began to be affected by disease was called The Omnivore's Dilemma. My obsession with my consumption rages on! However, as I stated earlier, it has been one of thought alone... until now. I hope.

Eating Animals I am currently listening to the audiobook (reading the printed word is still just too painful right now) Eating Animals and I am done. I am done with factory farming, agribusiness and eating food that has consumed more drugs than I did during my hospitalization, or has been exposed to more chemicals than my mother was during her chemo! I don't know what this statement, "I am done," means, I don't know how I am going to accomplish this, but I need to try.

I am writing this blog to, hopefully, force some accountability on myself in my search for sustenance.

I am searching for sustenance:
  • SAFE sustenance,
  • SUSTAINABLE sustenance,
  • SAVORY sustenance,
  • SWEET sustenace,
  • SUMPTUOUS sustenance and
  • SHARED sustenance.
I hope I can do it living in this east coast town of mine. If you have any ideas I would LOVE to hear them!

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