Small Actions

I'm not naïve and yet I also can't give up the possibility that taking action in small ways makes a difference. Although some days I do give up. I mope or buy a piece of plastic. I tell myself I don't care and I throw the plastic in the trash without a backwards glance. And then possibility, I don't know how, but possibility returns when I'm asleep and there it is waiting for me on the edge of the bed. It still surprises me.

So I've been signing petitions. The first was initiated by the Wildlife Action Center to request a ban of the fishing of bluefin tuna in and near their spawning grounds after the recent BP oil spill centered in their breeding grounds. If there are any still there, they deserve to be left alone.

Then I sent a letter to Hilary. It seems she wants to give corporate awards of excellence to Coca Cola and other bottled water companies. I agree with Food and Water Watch; What is she thinking?

The same day Food Democracy Now! sent an action alert titled, FDA cover up on genetically engineered salmon. Again I put my name to a letter asking, demanding, urging, begging, pleading for the FDA to not approve GE salmon; at least until there is transparent and independent studies done on their impact for an educated and unbiased decision.

Food and Water Watch took a different approach to their opposition of GE salmon. They drafted a letter to Barbara Boxer requesting she ask President Obama to deny approval of the 'experimental fish'. I joined them and sent a letter to her too.

And two days ago I took a stand and declared my commitment at Four Years. Go. A commitment to communicate, adopt, educate and create; a stand for a thriving, just and sustainable way of life for all. The wording reminded me of John Lennon and I wanted to hold hands with someone. Anyone. Everyone.

Maybe I am naïve and signing petitions and declaring a commitment to thin air is useless. Completely useless. But naïve or not I can't ignore the possibility, the smallest penny sized possibility that even such small actions can make a difference.

This Place Where Food Grows

I have tolerant friends. Really, I do. They've been patient as I've gone from rabid locavore, to igniting my hair on fire at the plight of farm workers; from talking about industrial food to simply serving them a pastured fried egg and letting them taste the difference. I've seen them exchange the look, eyes rolled up to their foreheads when I've cornered the conversation; gmo's, corn, the loosing game of plastic packaging. But I'm getting better. They would say, I've relaxed. I hope they would say I've relaxed. A little?

Now I've added a new obsession - listing the food I see growing. There's a lot of it. On a walk with a friend we saw still green figs, an orange tree as crowded as a World Series parade. She pointed at honeybees in the back of an industrial park, chickens behind a suburban home. We saw artichokes and rosemary growing through a front fence, an apple tree with a few remaining fruits. There were blackberries, grapes and sage. It was exciting, it was abundance, it was an awakening.

I've long pinched rosemary from the hedge on the corner and walked further for a few fresh leaves of bay. I've generally noticed a fruit tree here, another there and exclaimed over anything with a blossom attached; but food, I haven't been focused on food in the landscape. I'm not talking about gardens, I love those too; I'm talking about the wild edges, forgotten fruit trees, edible landscapes. I'm talking about front yards, back yards, the school yards, the parking lot at the library; I'm talking about the food growing along the paths that connect them. There's an entire menu out there I've overlooked.

And now I'm determined to name this free growing and previously discounted food, acknowledge it and yes, make a point of pointing it out to my friends too. I'm sure they'll want to know so they too can walk down the street and pinch a sprig of spice or gather wild fruit. Or simply appreciate this place where food grows.