Before becoming a vegetarian, I scoffed at the bean family with more contempt than I knew what to do with. Now, the same humble bean sates me like no dead animal ever did…
Aside from its versatility in the kitchen, the extraordinarily affordable white kidney bean that I cooked for supper has brought me a certain kind of peace that’s hard to express.
As the beans were boiling (with some bicarbonate of soda to help them soften…alternatively, you can boil them and freeze them to help break down the cell walls if you’re worried about thiamine loss), I thought about the drought that Southern Africa is going through and realized a few things.
Food is always a blessing
In today’s fast paced world of faster food and fast corruption, its easy to get distracted from the moments that really matter. The moments that bring life to our minds and hearts through our incredibly efficient resource extraction system, our stomachs.
In a world where CEOs claim that water isn’t a human right and crime takes precedence over health, we have to make our own decisions when it comes to sustainable living. Sustainable in terms of understanding the blessing that food is, respecting its sources and doing our bit to make sure that this blessing is shared with as many people (including rivers and animals) as there are on this planet.
Happiness usually starts with food
However you choose to define happiness, however you choose to create it, the bottom line is, you have to have balanced meals that let you experience life.
My criminally healthy breakfast this morning most likely played a big role in my ability to handle the challenges of the day. The joy that I got from each bite gave me waves of gentle, positive energy that kept me smiling through moments that would usually leave me faithless.
Sure, food isn’t the only component of my happiness but it is the go-to starting point for developing the emotions that eventually lead to this mystical, magical thing.
Food is and always will be art
Now I get that this is a bold statement to make. Heaven forbid we end up evolving to live off vitamin pills and retain water for easier inter-planetary escapades. Even if that happens though, the way we’ve evolved to taste our food signifies an almost sacred bond with this planet we’ve come to call home. We’ve grounded our consciousness to this physical space in a tantalising way.
As we mature, our palate is complemented by the visual experience and every day, new dimensions of experience are being added. Restaurants with ‘atmospheres’ and million dollar recipes, kept secret for years, powering brands and multinational corporations.
In the end, our tether to life is the food we eat and this is our greatest artwork.
Bean food is good food
Getting back on my high vegetarian horse, it feels good to let go of the ethical dilemma that comes with eating other animals. The weight of that action, lifted off my shoulders has made for ever more peaceful nights and decisive action in so many other aspects of this short life that I’m choosing to live.
Now, as I step into the Internetosphere to find out more about bean flour, I wonder what our species will come up with next.
Dried beans might be a good space meal…no?