Perhaps the fact that all of us reading this can probably afford to not eat seasonally if we so choose is a sign that we take more from the world than we need.
We live in an oil dependent 24-7 full on culture, and if we want asparagus we can dander out to our cars, drive to Tesco’s and buy asparagus from Peru, drive home again and eat it.
But do we need as a society need to consume so wildly or with so little regard to the natural resources we are using (such as oil), especially if we believe that the material world is created and ‘matter matters’?
As Wendell Berry writes in The Gift of Good Land
‘Atomic reactors and other big-technological solutions, on the other hand, convey an overwhelming suggestion of the poverty of the world and the scarcity of goods. Thats is because their actuating principle is excessive consumption. The obscure and destroy the vital distinction between abundance and extravagance. The ideal of “unlimited economic growth” is based on the obsessive and fearful conviction that more is always needed. The growth is maintained by the consumers’ panic-stricken suspicion, since they always want more, that they will never have enough’
It seems to me that we have a responsibility to use things wisely and without waste, and that flying asparagus over from Peru is not a wise use of resources if we could eat carrots from Co Down or in season cauliflower.
Or why freight in strawberries from Spain if you could grow some rhubarb in your garden?
We’ve been so indoctrinated by corporations that it’s our right as a free, enlightened, economically strong society to consume when we like, what we like, and that it is fact good for the world and us to consume whatever we like.
We have accepted that it can’t be changed and this is the best way to proceed.
We in the West especially have been living like its an orgy,we like the comfort and we’re unwilling to change.
Like our total dependence on cars to get us from A to B. Or computers.
But perhaps the biggest problem is that we can’t imagine what change might look like, or how we would even go about changing things around for the better. Our imaginations are so tired that few people can hold up the possibilites of what a better, fairer world could actually look like in an actual real world.
The economic empires of our time, the systems and corporations have us completely wrapped up and believing that things can’t be different, we’re powerless to stop them and that if we don’t join the race we’ll be left behind and suffer.
And because we find it hard to imagine beautiful, real life possibilities that replace old bad habits and sins we are burdened and tired.