Our food using the example of corn
Our food is at least as important as protective masks, gloves and respirators for the medical system, which has been brought down in recent years. Everyone will agree with me that now we are slowly learning to get out of our western hyperindividualism and realize that we belong to a larger whole. But strengthening our feelings of connection to life on earth does not always bring ease and harmony.
Apart from the horror and concern that the Corona crisis and the slowly developing economic crisis are causing in every single person, we also have to take a look at the dilemma of agriculture.
Spring, time to sow and plant
The sowing of maize will begin shortly or has already begun in some parts of the country. Everyone, even those who cannot afford it, is hungry for organic food and perhaps it is beneficial for us all to take a closer look at what is happening to our plants. I don’t think that now, in this time of crisis, the use of pesticides, the poisoning of life and the marketing behaviour have changed. The first step is to pay attention and be mindful of what is happening behind the scenes of the global health crisis.
Let us remember
The maize originally comes from Mexico, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years before Christ. Columbus brought the corn to Spain, where it was successfully cultivated around 1525. In addition to tomatoes, peppers, pumpkin, potatoes and beans it was a valuable gift to Europe. Corn is an Indian cultivated plant that has been around for centuries! A gift from the gods! A life without corn was unimaginable for the Indians. Corn was considered sacred and in it the „corn deity“ was worshipped. It is still used today in various rituals and festivals and helps to establish contact with the spirits, being addressed as „his deity“. Corn is considered a symbol of life. In the advanced civilizations of the Maya, Sioux, Apache, Hopi, Iroquois, Cherokee, Aztecs etc. corn was the most important food plant, the food of the gods. At present, in South America, attempts are being made to destroy the few indigenous peoples that still exist.
Now they are planting, harvest is in autumn
In autumn thousands of tons of maize are brought to Austrian warehouses. But not for our food! Animals are fed with maize, although ruminants cannot tolerate this food. What happens to the rest? People don’t eat polenta anymore, or maybe we return to the poor – people – food?
Clever businessmen are producing citric acid for the food and beverage industry, detergent industry and technical industries. We used to run our televisions on maize and since the end of subsidy contracts, farmers who participated in the conversion to „energy farming“ are in financial difficulties! A brief review: As a result of the blind promotion of so-called alternative energy sources, the plants on our fields were used as energy sources for electricity generation in biogas plants or as heating pellets. Only a few years ago, the motto was „tank instead of plate“. Biodiesel was produced from rapeseed, and bioethanol from corn and soya, and was often transported over long distances.
In the past, the collective cultivation of maize led to social ties and to identity-giving institutions.The herding of seeds and the knowledge of different seeds gradually got lost with the commercialization of seeds. Manipulated seeds are patented, and farmers have to pay royalties on purchase. The products are sold together with crop protection products. In addition to the control of cultivation, the ability to produce by oneself is also largely lost. Transnational food companies disguise the origin and nature of the raw materials. The postmodern consumer society has control over the food that is put on the table. The less critical the consumers are, the easier it is to make the real processes invisible. Even in the time of crisis one is tempted to quickly supply the body with energy, no matter if and how it affects the physical, emotional and mental level. The basic food corn is threatened worldwide, we are all affected by it and we are all obliged to create awareness and to do our best. Only together we can change this!
Let us give thanks to what supports our lives. If you go for a walk now during the quarantine period, you might do this little meditation.
So the next time you pass a plant or a tree, please take a moment. You can say thanks for the oxygen, which would not be there without the wonderful work the plants and trees do. Without them, we would not exist. Maybe your heart is also touched by the sorrow and pain of all our fellow creatures on this earth. Don’t keep this pain inside you. Open yourself to the healing powers in the immeasurable web of life, crying is also a way of turning to them. Maybe then you will be able to redefine what a good life is.