For the first time in our lives, we got on our knees and got our hands dirty while volunteering on an organic farm in Tzunana, Guatemala. We did things we would have never done living in the states. We learned how to plant, weed, eat from the trees, kill chickens, milk goats but most of all, we realized how disconnected we are to the food we consume.
Just like 90% of Americans, we barely think about the food we eat. We just consume like the amazing consumers we are. Most of us have no idea how an onion looks like before it’s washed, polished, stuffed in a bag and placed in the produce aisle of our favorite supermarket.
We don’t appreciate the people (farmers not the industrial machines) that take their time to grow the food we so happily stuff our face with. We don’t understand the love that is needed to make the soil rich in nutrients so that the food we eat is nutritious as well. Neither do we acknowledge the energy spent on raising farm animals and the courage it takes to butcher them.
Our experience at the farm was exactly what we needed, an epiphany, a rude awakening that we don’t need millions of supermarkets to survive because nature gives us everything we need and all we have to do is invest in it. If today all supermarkets, restaurants, etc. burned down and all that was left is just lush green wilderness, would you be able to survive? Would you know what plant is edible, when to harvest or plant them? Would you know how to use nature to survive? We wouldn’t.
We need to be self sustaining humans, educate ourselves about the food we eat, learn how to cultivate the land, grow our own food and get reconnected with nature. Humans and nature are not two separate entities, we are interconnected and need each other to survive.
Honestly, we would recommend that everyone volunteers on a farm for a minimum of a week or at the very least take a tour of one, as it is a very eye opening experience. It will help take you beyond being the zombie that just consumes.
How Not to be a Consuming Zombie?
- Do research on the food that you are consuming, especially if you enjoy eating fast food or processed food. Read ingredient labels. You’ll be surprised how much crap is in your food.
- Sign up for a Co-op with a nearby farm, and purchase your produce and meat from them. That way you’ll know where your food comes from.
- Search for local farms in your area and message them asking if they are looking for volunteers or if you can get a tour of their farm.
- If you are traveler like us, look into WWOOF, Workaway or HelpX to find organic farms abroad who are looking for volunteers to help on their farm in exchange for food and shelter.
- Pay it forward and share your knowledge.
When was the last time you thought about the food you ate? Have you ever volunteered on a farm?