When I sat down to write this blog, I started pouring out on paper all the things that I find to be paradoxical about the way we think about food, how we form our opinions around it, what drives us to make the choices we make, and on and on and on. At first I thought I sounded insightful and unabashedly honest with a certain wit and tenacity. But, when I went back through what I had penned, I realized that my tone and language were such that the convictions I have about this topic would only get lost in the fractured landscape of entrenched opinion. I was failing to convey my desire for this project and drowning myself with my own hypocrisy. This project exists to dissolve the walls we have built around our ideas, so we can restore the lost dialogue of food, which incorporates so many aspects of our life in addition to the meals we eat.
The more I researched this topic, the more I realize that there are many divisive sides to this issue, all of which can make compelling arguments as to the pros and cons of our current food system. To help us avoid the trappings of our own beliefs, I want to set some clear boundaries for what this project is all about. It is not the goal to simply criticize corporations or condemn the commercial food industry. Sure, I disagree with their tactics and don’t think the practices being employed are the most productive way to do food for humans or the planet, but I don’t believe they are inherently evil or holistically wrong.
It is the goal of this project to instead bring back the conversation among people about food and all it encompasses, so we can understand the full impact of our decisions. Know is not here to push any one specific dietary habit or trend. We believe everyone should choose their meals based on their personal convictions and needs, but, regardless of preference, everyone should have access to healthy real food that is produced in a responsible manner, capable of providing the necessary nutrients our bodies need. In addition, we think that by using whole, unadulterated ingredients, we can experience an increased level of satisfaction and joy from our food. To sum it up, we do not exist to tell you never to eat ice cream, but rather to give you the resources to enjoy the best possible ice cream available from churn to cheek.
I am at the beginning of this journey myself, and I have to constantly challenge myself to think about food in a more intentional manner on a daily basis. It is so easy for me to just settle with what is and not consider what could be, or should be for that matter. For 26 years now, I have been a product of a system that has provided me with food that is cheap, convenient, and most of the time quite yummy. But, that doesn’t mean it is right, and I don’t think I can keep ignoring the impact it is having on my life and the lives of millions of others, not to mention the damage that is being done to the natural beauty that brings me so much pleasure and to which I believe I am called to be a good steward. I don’t claim to have all the answers, because I know I don’t. However, I am willing to commit my time and thoughts to trying to remedy the situation that we find ourselves in. It doesn’t matter if I caused it or had any say in the decisions that led us here. I am here, I am able, and I have been given the opportunity to put my efforts toward something I believe in. If we don’t try to make right the failures we encounter, then what good does it do to voice them in the first place? We don’t have to sit in silence and just move through life, so why would we choose to? Through this project we can alter, indefinitely, the condition of our lives and the lives of our neighbors here and around the world. This is the mission of Know.