Tag Archives: family

Chief Seattle’s famous 1852 speech

The Native people of Mother Earth lived in harmony and peace. As the white man started to travel and impose their ways on these kind people, one person who wrote about the effect of this infestation was Native American Chief Seattle in the 1850’s. The version has been re-written since it’s original presentation, but the essence is still clear and haunting given the state of the planet at the present time:

screenshot4749

“The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family.The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother. If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

apsaroke-mother-and-child-edward-s-curtis

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth. This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left? We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it, as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children, and love it, as God loves us.

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you. One thing we know – there is only one God. No man, be he Red man or White man, can be apart. We ARE all brothers after all.”

forks and chopsticks

In the effort to learn more about how food is made in USA, sooner or later readers will come across Forks over Knives. It’s hard to summarize the effect this documentary might have on the way you view food, or you discovering how the government and massive corporations have lied to American families about what certain foods will do to their health and life quality.

51c9mecmaml-_sy300_

Not every viewer will walk away from the film and think that a plant-based diet is for them, but most will feel compelled to take a close look at the balance of their meal plan: How much meat and diary food are we eating today versus 50 years ago and what is it doing to the cancer rate in your community?

Eating Clean is a movement in this same direction: How and when should you swap a meal of heavily processed junk food for a home made meal with some vegetables? There is an excellent book on this topic from Reno as seen below.

76172-425x425-eat_clean_book

Most people can subscribe to a lifestyle that incorporates balance and moderation, especially if it offers joy and health in abundance.

Happy learning! 

agricultural construction

Growing up near farms and knowing farmers I thought that farms and the animals on them, even if they were raised for food, lead happy lives.

Then off course I realized that the American way of pushing quality down, prices down and always hunger for more profits – by higher quantities of purchases and wider market adoption had destroyed not only traditional towns, family bonds – but also agricultural construction. The movie Food Inc showcases this fact so clearly, and the scene of a mother loosing her 5 year old son in a horrid way to expired cow meat – a hamburger, is a gruesome thing to witness.

1-sht template

Off course no one cares for an animal or a person, if those animals and people are working inside a factory farm of dark walls and concrete instead of on a green meadow. For centuries the art of raising crops or animals to feed people were a job of great honor in society, even though it wasn’t very glamorous, and it sad to see the great country of America destroy this tradition.

USA needs to break down its industrial agriculture and bring back the family farms. America also need to bring back its industries from abroad, and Americans must agree to pay a bit more for their product in order to sustain its own workforce. This will also ensure products of greater quality which can withstand the tooth of time and ensure a more environmentally friendly approach to consumerism.

Buy local, buy organic and ask your family farmer for a custom delivery of grass fed grass fished meat delivery to support their hard work.

Stay Healthy!

the art of eating

Not all food is created equal hence the modern concept “Not all calories are created equal”. More folks are battling their scales and waistlines, and 18% of American children aged 6–11 years were obese in 2012. So America decided that it’s OK that 1 out of every 5th child is overweight, and the number keeps climbing.

Big industry took over making the dinner plate and everything on it, as people chose to outsource their lives and homes and focus on their careers: Fast cars, degrees, houses, clothes, furniture, relationships.. Stress.  But the basic human act of making and eating a meal together is a very emotional and binding experience. It grounds us and has long been a staple in family lives. I recall reading “Eating Animals” and it really stuck a cord.

6604712

As the art of eating basic homemade food went out the window, we saw a rise in the diet industry, eating disorders, cancer and heart problems. Not to mention the destruction of the country itself, and the risk to people when water supplies become polluted. I mean, Flint water crises anyone?

Aren’t anyone connecting the dots: It starts over there, but soon enough it will be here on your own doorstep. Then what? Who will fight for you when everyone else is already drinking poisoned water and getting sick for life? When is America going to get back to thinking about the collective community instead of the immediate need for the next fix of packaged and polluting junk food?

What happened to the American dream of enjoying childhood as an active and healthy kid fishing in the river and eating it for dinner?

original

Happy Learning!

there is no food in the stores

One of my first big observations coming to America, was finding that there was no food in the grocery stores. I arrived in Boston for work, and the hotel where I was staying directed me to the nearest shop. It wasn’t a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and I found a place full of packaged dead ‘nutrition’ as far as the eye could see. There were also produce meant to resemble vegetables and fruit, but it was looking all kinds of genetically modified and lacking the correct color.

I left with a pack of Ramen noodles.

People from back home in Norway, or friends would ask me “How is America”? I would tell them “there is no food in the stores”.

Waltham_MA_Central_Square[1]

It took a while for me to navigate my new home, but it seemed unfair to me that only those with the means could afford decent food to eat, while the rest were doomed to feed on additives and junk. Normal food seemed like a basic human right to me, not something you had to earn as it comes straight from mother earth.

I also noticed how people seemed to be eating out all the time, and family breakfast or dinner wasn’t a top priority anymore. It made me sad. Oddly enough a few years later I discovered how the Standard American Diet was also called the SAD-diet.

9664925_orig

A consequence of all this SAD-diet eating was off course that I, along with many Americans, started battling harder to keep my weight down as there were so many hidden calories in the food I was consuming. I went to the gym as before and tired to monitor what I ate, but it was noticeably harder to keep my weight stable.

It wasn’t until I had kids that I realized that so many things are wrong with the way Americans make and consume their food. I had read Fast Food Nation while doing my Masters Degree in Australia – but little did I know of how far down the rabbit whole went.

It wasn’t just some fast food chains, it was Fast Everything.

fast-food-nation

the starting point

Growing up in a small town shapes you. My grandparents had a picture on their wall – from a trip visiting relatives in Minnesota – that said: “In a big city there is lots to see. In a small town there is lots to hear“. It kind of sums up my childhood.

nannestad_kommune

This aspect of growing up in the countryside made and broke me: Everyone knew everyone and what they were up to. As a target for bullies and popularity alike I changed between being the object of love and hate, and the outcome was not always pretty. Mostly it made me determined to leave and ‘show them’. That I could become something. Other than this person who’s reputation preceded them.

So I did. I left my small town in Norway, did my degrees in England and Australia, before working in corporate America and starting a life as a wife and mother. Coming to the United States seemed like the perfect final destination. Growing up I watched the endless lights of Hollywood movies, and thought America is where people could be themselves and make a new life. The kind of life I craved.

But America is nothing like the movies. Sure there are the accents, the big signs and buildings, but the movies don’t show you the endless poverty people suffer under, the racism, sexism, the horrendous animal agriculture and all the pollution that follows. It doesn’t show you that Native Americans are still waiting for an apology for the genocide they experienced.

So I chased a dream to the end of the line. And now I miss my old town. I miss the connection with the people that sometimes is lacking in the big city. I miss the fresh air and some honesty. Even the kind that hurts you. Because sometimes the only way to grow is to feel the pain as you stretch.

space_needle002