I am in the middle of a semester where I am working on a large project that has to do with the food we eat and our health. As a RN I firmly believe that we are what we eat…or rather consume.
Consumption is the only word that really describes my feelings towards American Culture. If you really stop and take a moment to think about it…What have you eaten today? How did you get to work? What are you wearing? How many lights are on in your house right now? How many major appliances? What will you buy this week? Look at the packaging of something you buy regularly…what happens to it when it you are done with it? Even our higher-end items are touted as disposable…I recently had a conversation with a Dell employee about my Dell all in one printer…that we got in the spring of 2007. Three years ago. I was told that I really needed to consider a new printer because the average life of a printer is only 2 years! Well then for crying out loud the one I have is like an ancient artifact! And we havn’t even started to think about the extra’s–we really have only addressed aspects of daily living. Consumption is an unavoidable fact…but what are the consequences?
The United States is in a crisis of Health…We eat too much of the wrong foods and we don’t exercise enough…our livers, pancreas’, hearts, and circulatory systems are forced into failure by our own habits…cirrhosis, diabetes, heat attacks, and strokes. We demand the products and the ease of living that causes toxins to be dumped into our back yards that cause cancer and birth defects. More and more we are finding that the things that were invented to make out lives easier are making our lives sicker. And we all want to be healthy…so we go to the doctor or to the hospital and demand treatment…for a problem that we created…and by demanding that treatment we cause more problems…there are not enough nurses, the supplies all have to be made in a plant, shipped, wrapped in something disposable…even in our poor health we demand and consume.
The first place the Bible (KJV) uses the word Consume is in Genesis 41:30 “And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land.” Now this is talking about a specific event…but isn’t it too poetically ironic that a Famine shall consume anything? In my little understanding of agriculture a famine can be caused by natural disasters or my the mistakes of man. Public education taught me that the dust bowl was the result of over use of the land, rendering it useless. So if poor decisions and overuse (consumption again) lead to famine…what kind of a metaphorical/literal famine are we headed for!? And how do our consumptions stand posed…just waiting to consume us?
This little Clay Pot doesn’t have an answer for all the questions…but I do know that I want to stop consuming sooooo much. I want to feed my family foods that fill their bellies and help them to be healthy…not with foods that wear out their body systems and pollute the earth that they play on. I want to help others question why we demand the things we demand…and is it good for us? I don’t want to tell anybody what to do, or that my way is the right way…but let’s all start asking the questions “Do I really need this, and what does it really do for me?”