Monday, July 8, 2013

First Two Weeks Of Locavorism

While on the mountain a couple weeks ago, I made a vow intended to take me another step in the direction of whole-body and socio-ecological development I'm moving toward in my own artistic expression. What I promised myself was that for the next year I would eat only foods organically grown and/or naturally occurring in my local watershed. Further, I swore off all commercial meats except bison and elk (which both sell around here), although allowing myself goat products as a dairy option. I'm also giving myself permission to eat foods that are naturally occurring from other watersheds if they are given to me by friends or family who carried out the harvest themselves. This provides an opportunity for food gifting with my wider network that just wouldn't be possible otherwise

The reasons I've decided to take on this locavore challenge are complex. A significant factor in what's driving me has to do with food sovereignty issues and environmental ethics. More than this though, I simply yearn to live more fully as a true human being. And in my mind, a 'true human,' like any other animal, doesn't require grocery stores. I want my body to be made from the nature of the place where I live. I'm not there yet, but I'm on the path, and this year-long commitment will take me quite a ways in the right direction

So as of today, I'm two weeks into the vow and feeling fairly comfortable. Gone are coffee, salt and other imported spices, tropical fruits, pretty much all restaurant foods, and of course the remaining bits of processed garbage I'd retained after making several dietary changes last year. Even in this very short time, my appreciation for certain flavors is transforming dramatically. Tomatoes, strawberries, and homemade dill pickles are almost overwhelmingly delicious. They are my favorite snacks for the time being. Of course, I have it fairly easy right now, it's summer. The real test is yet to come, and I'm very aware of how fast the warm days are passing. Will I be able to put away enough fruit and veg to satisfy my desire for such flavors and nutrients in the long Alberta winter ahead? I guess we'll see

For now, I'm proud of having made the major changes I have since coming down off the mountain. It really is similar to confronting an addiction. I've yet to decide how I'm going to negotiate eating when I need to travel long distances for business. This past week, I spent a few days up north, but within driving range, and so was able to take food along with me. That won't always be the case. I guess, when far from home, I'll have to make due trying to eat as clean and local as I can for wherever I am

When you think about it, eating really is our primary connection to place, ecology... all the big stuff. I think there's something deeply spiritual about becoming more conscious and deliberate in our engagements with food, not just for the selfish purposes of individual bodily health, but more in terms of the wellness of the life system, and renewing our natural roles in that. For this year, I'm lucky there are still plenty of farms locally where vegetables and berries are being grown and marketed. But for the future, I'll be looking increasingly more toward what is naturally occurring in my region


  1. Todai Ryan that food looks good! I'm interested to see how your body will change in regards to your feelings and possible physical changes. Keep us updated! Organic is awesome!

  2. Great moves Ryan, that's that next level right there! And as i'm writing that, 'next level', it makes me think about how much it shouldn't be next level, it should be the basics. It shows how much our foods has changed over the last hundreds of years. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks, Steve. The way I look at it, given how dependent we are on the global exchange of foods, we really all are in a famine state. We just don't know it here in North America, because we're able to bring in so much food from elsewhere. But I don't know that we're any better off than places like Ethiopia, as far as actually having enough foods available in the places we live to feed the populations we have. Carrying capacity. I think we're in big trouble, and it's time more people started trying to get back to sustainable eating


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