Excerpt from The Vegan Reader
Food Is Power
The great humanitarian and farmer, John Jeavons, once said:
"Food is Power…Are You In Control Of Yours? "
As an American and an inheritor of the legacy of a system that has valued money over brotherly love, I know my people, poor people, innocent people, unthinking people, simple, decent people have been burned one too many times by corporations that have marketed ‘progress’ and ‘convenience’ to them.
In this country, many of us are beginning to realize that when we traded in our own skills for the convenient agreement of others doing our work in exchange for money, we won ourselves a world of pesticides, polluted skies and water, contaminated food and foreign sweatshop labor. We stopped living like the incredibly skilled American Indians, or even the early pioneers, nearly all of whom knew how to grow food, make fire, build shelter, find water, craft clothing and feed people. We have become a nation of unskilled workers who pay others to do everything we need for the very basics of being alive, and those we have given our money to have failed to resist the temptation to increase profit by casting care for human and environmental health aside.
Food is power, and by taking the control of it back into your hands as much as you possibly can, you are strengthening yourself as a human person. I realize, few of us are going to be able to create a rice paddy in our backyard, but we can get as deep down on the chain of events as possible. We can purchase rice that is grown without chemicals and is processed as little as possible. We can cook our own rice, and we can make our own milk from it to feed our dear ones well.
You can retrieve your power, your authority over your own life in the steps and stages that feel comfortable and reasonable to you. Today you have learned how to make rice milk – and if you try it, I think you’ll decide it’s absolutely delicious. More than this, though, I think you may feel that you’ve really accomplished something good. Maybe for you, this is a bold act of defiance against the corruption of the Organics industry with big, moneyed, dirty corporate players. Maybe it’s the thougthful act of the gourmet cook who insists on having fresh foods instead of processed ones that have been sitting on a supermarket shelf for who knows how long. Or, maybe it’s just a new way to take better care of yourself by taking the time you deserve to prepare wholesome foods. All reasons are good reasons if they help you to act with diginity and discernment in your daily life.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this reskilling lesson. Let us know if you give making your own rice milk a try.