January 17, 2012
My time in the United States has been marred by the incredibly ineffective and potentially harmful farming practices propagated by United States farming companies. There is now a huge disconnect between what is placed on our dining tables and the factors that lead to it’s production, such as: the chemicals being placed into our soil and water, the rights of farmers’ violated by private and public institutions, the treatment of animals, and even the sanctity of natural life. Every meal has the potential to become a moral quandary, and it can be very exhausting for someone raised on Catholic guilt.
In Perú, I have been released from that guilt, and have loved the approaches taken towards food by the local peoples. Here, especially in the rural-indigenous communities, food is still seen as a semi-sacred sacrament that should be respected dutifully. Our team’s time in Choquecancha revealed that beautifully, as the whole day was made out to devote a lot of time and energy to working out on the field, but still taking the time out to enjoy the company of each other and to thank Pachamama for providing the resources needed to sustain life. Among these people, there is the knowledge of exactly where there food came from, how much time and energy it took to grow that food, and most importantly, that the food grown is a privilege and not a right. Taking such a humble approach forces one to appreciate not only our food, but also our very livelihood. I think a little dose of this reality would be beneficial for many of our gringo compatriots. ~Derek Polka
Entry Filed under: Agriculture Projects. Posted in Agriculture Projects Tags: agriculture projects, Andean Alliance for sustainable development, Choquecancha, food systems, Peru, Sacred Valley, sustainable agriculture, Team Peru.