Al Everson MUG

Al Everson

Three or four months later, some of us are still carrying around the ghost of Christmas past. The consequences of indulgent living are seen and felt, as we struggle to “get in shape.”

Having a good time around the table comes with a cost — in pounds, and these pounds are not British currency.

The period between Thanksgiving and the new year is a time for consuming more than we probably should. Now, in the new year, when dazzling arrays of rich food are less commonplace, is a good time to take stock of how fortunate we Americans really are.

I raise this thesis because I was recently challenged in a sermon, in which the minister pointed out how we in the affluent West often take for granted the food we have and how easy we obtain our daily bread — and meat, potatoes, vegetables and dessert.

Unless we live on a farm or drop out of the world and join a commune, getting our meal is as simple as going to a supermarket and selecting what we want from well-stocked shelves and refrigerated cases.

We may bellyache about the prices, but we usually pay because we cannot stomach the alternative of going without. There is another alternative, one we likely do not even bother to consider: growing, finding, hunting, foraging and gathering our own food.

What if instead of simply putting a frozen prepared-chicken package into a microwave for a few minutes and then taking out the flavorful and steaming entree, we had to do as our grandparents did? Would we know how to raise the chicken, kill the chicken, pluck its feathers and cut up the dead bird for cooking?

What if we had to grow our own vegetables in our own gardens and can or freeze them? Would we be able to produce enough for ourselves and our families, let alone have enough to store for future meals or extra to sell or barter?

Moreover, do we, in our postmodern, super-sophisticated society have the ability to hunt our prey and kill our own livestock, as well as prepare it for consumption or trade? Unless we are determined survivalists, we probably lack those abilities.

All this is something to consider, should we be suddenly thrown back into another time or if we should be stranded in a place lacking the conveniences and comforts to which we are accustomed. Could we survive if we had to live as our forebears did in the 18th or 19th century? Are we up to it?

Keep in mind, the situation such as described here still prevails in much of Asia, Africa and Central and South America.

Do we begin to realize how good and easy we have it? Should we not be more thankful to our Maker and to the farmers who provide for us what we don’t provide for ourselves?

Maybe the cure for overweight would be the demand of farming for ourselves. It is food for thought.