From my heart to your lips
Tonight at midnight the 10-Day Local Food Challenge becomes fully yours – whoever you are.
The idea for the Challenge occurred to me last summer. I mean that. It wasn’t a thought of mine. It happened full-blown in my mind and I’ve been the servant of this compelling game ever since, building the infrastructure for people to play together.
I’ve grabbed friends along the way to help pilot the program in 2014 and build it for 2015. We’ve tripled the number of people playing: on the Facebook page and group, on our email list. And that’s the known players. I’ve heard from countless people who say they’re “doing the Challenge” – but haven’t signed up for anything that lets us count them. The Challenge has escaped my corral and is running free and I’m thrilled.
Tomorrow, October 1, the official 10-day countdown begins. It’s up to you now to do it. We (mostly myself and Laurie Pitts) have crammed the website with resources and composed blog posts and emails and e-zines to inspire and motivate you. I’m done because it’s starting. Over to you. My only request: write home. Join the Facebook Group and tell us your stories.
The Challenge came alive in me – more like caught me and inhabited me – for three heart-felt reasons:
First, fun. It’s giving you a way to play the game I played – a 30-Day 10-mile diet – that revolutionized not only my eating life but my sense of communion with the life around me. 10 Days, 100 Miles, 10 Exotics… ready, set, eat local. Do it with gusto and you will learn about yourself and where you live and the state of our food system. You will be moved. Amazed. Frustrated. Creative. Inclined to be sneaky. All the fun I had. The game is my gift to you.
Second, it’s a game that gives you a toehold in the big issues in our world. Food Justice. Climate Change. Obesity. Wealth Gap. Environmental Diseases. Lifestyle Diseases. Rain forest Destruction. You name it, there’s a BIG and often under recognized component of how we grow, distribute and eat food. The Challenge is a gut level commitment to being a change-maker.
Third, restoring the prosperity and abundance of our regional food systems is the necessary hand-maiden of protesting Monsanto (and the dozens of corporations that travel in Monsanto’s slip stream). Joanna Macy often said that there are three forms of response to what is unraveling our earth. There’s the front lines: stopping the evil. There’s the forging new options: building new strategies for daily life. There’s changing the story: awakening a new sense of shared identity and purpose. I believe the Challenge is squarely in the second: building more resilient and community based ways to feed ourselves. I have made a career of such strategic meddling, but my soul resides in number three: changing the story of money, of relationships, of food, of health based on a spiritual understanding that life is one whole integral dance of energy, infused with love. I believe that personal practice – making a commitment to act on your values however uncomfortable that may be – transforms identity, samples new behavior and empowers us to walk away from toxic assumptions and behaviors.
I’ve done my best – as have all the friends who’ve come along to help – to deliver this game to you in exactly the spirit and intention it came to me, with enough bells and whistles to really help you succeed – but nothing in excess.
I’m officially sitting back and ready to watch how the whole global show unfolds. But not until I deliver one more pep talk tonight (9/30) and go to the beach to collect sea water for salt!
Bon Appetit! Write home! And if not, go forth, do good and enjoy!