Many people in the rich world have little connection to the food they eat. They find what they need at the local grocery store. Ingredients have been shipped across the country or the world, possibly more than once, before being assembled into a highly processed form that has questionable health benefits. More likely, the food the large brands are feeding them is detrimental to their health.
A big part of living sustainably is reducing the food miles of your diet. That means growing your own food or getting it from local farmers. It also means buying or growing only organic or sustainably grown food. Fortunately, less processed, local food is becoming more available in mainstream grocery stores, and farmers markets have sprung up everywhere in the last couple decades, connecting real people with local farmers.
At Hardcore Sustainable, we like to take things to the extreme. This video takes you through the process of making tamales, from nixtamalizing the corn, to grinding it, from forming the tamales from masa dough, to eating them. The corn was grown in my garden and the butter bought locally from a one cow family…and that’s pretty much all these tamales are. Of course this way of eating, though radical in the rich world, is the norm for much of the world’s population.
Living sustainably doesn’t have to mean sacrifice. It often means the rediscovery of the diversity of flavors our ancestors perfected over thousands of years of relishing food. They didn’t need chemical flavorings to make up for the lack of flavor in their ingredients–their ingredients just naturally tasted better.