Monday, November 28, 2016

Eating Omily: Lexicon of Sustainability-Seeds of Hope

It's been a while since we've discussed the Lexicon of Sustainability, but I haven't forgotten about it! This issue is a really important one: we're in the midst of a mass extinction that no one is talking about! By creating an economy in which small, diverse, family farms struggle to survive, let alone survive, we've also majorly shrunk the gene pool of what we eat...but before I get into that, you should watch the video! It's right here: http://www.pbs.org/food/features/lexicon-of-sustainability-seeds/

You may recall the discussion of landraces from an earlier video and blogpost (Hint: it's right here!): when food crops are allowed to evolve over time in specific regions, when seeds are shared between farmers, and traits that we like, such as the ability to be stored for months in a root cellar and stay nutritious and delicious, are bred back into the gene pool, we end of up with a thriving, diverse ecosystem of food crops that can withstand harsh conditions.

When selling seeds becomes about making as much money as possible, only a few easily producible, high-yield varieties get sold, and GMOs become more and more popular because they are patentable: non-GMOs can be saved and shared by farmers, reducing the number of seeds a company can sell.

Now, to be clear, I don't believe GMOs cause autism or cancer or allergies, or whatever. I think GMOs represent a grave misuse of an important and useful technology. Did you know the same technology that produces GMO corn also produces insulin for diabetics?

Aside from hurting farmers by taking their right to breed, share, and save seeds, GMOs also are a huge cause for the extinction of so many valuable food crops, a situation that puts us at direct risk of famine, food shortage, and hunger. This 2016. We know better. Learn how you can fight for GMO labeling, so we can make choices about where our money is going, and support seed sovereignty. Of course, at the core of this is supporting the very small, diverse, family farms that create sustainable ecosystems. Buy your food from them! Farmers Markets are one way, but CSAs are another, and farm stands, and even shopping online, are other ways.

I've said it before, and I've said it again. The old guard is fighting like hell to take us all down, and the planet with us. We need to be fighting just as hard. This isn't the time for half measures. If you can do it, do it. If you can't, do what you can, and encourage others.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Can You Hear My Voice This Time?

Well, it happened. It seemed like it couldn't possibly happen simply because of how deeply horrific it was, but it did. And if you're anything like me, you've spent the last week vacillating between rage, heartbreak, confusion, physical illness, and deep down, hope. The fight doesn't end with Trump's election. In fact, it has just begun. Everything we've worked so long for is going to be challenged, and we have to do everything in our power to defend it. We always knew this was a long game.

This is what's getting me through these dark days as I seek out the best ways to make a difference.
(And in case the imbed feature doesn't work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YttscNOoAjA)

I loved this video when it premiered at the DNC...but it's take on so much more meaning now. I won't be quiet to avoid starting a fight with my family. I won't pretend like an opinion that someone else doesn't deserve human rights is valid. But I'm doing more than that, and you should, too.

Donate to Planned Parenthood. Send cards of support to LGBTQ support centers. Send money and supplies to Standing Rock. Write members of the electoral college, and remind them of their responsibility not to elect an unqualified candidate to office, and who won the popular vote. Ask President Obama to appoint his choice of Supreme Court Justice: Congress has waived their right to comment by refusing to do their job. Send reiki healing to the current Supreme Court Justices!

Don't just do one thing. Don't just do the easy thing. If ever there was a time to step out of complacency, to make sacrifices to build the world you want to live in, this is it. Take a long, hard look at your life, at how you talk about oppressed groups. Don't just stand around in your safety pin: do more.

Don't block your Trump supporter family members on Facebook! TALK BACK! Kindly, compassionately if you can stand it, but at the very minimum, don't let them forget that they are not the majority. We are all humans: women, LGBTQ people, Muslims, immigrants, Jewish people, people of color, poor people. Fight for human rights for every. Single. Person.

I don't know about you, but I've still got a lot of fight left in me.
Live Omily,
~Emily

Monday, November 7, 2016

On the Importance of Shifting

I was on such a role sharing a vintage or writing a new blogpost every week! But last week, I knew on Sunday that a Monday blogpost was just not happening! Not with a full day of work, family visiting, a neighborhood block party, AND the Halloween parade to get to! I knew you wouldn't mind. I'll always be back!

Lately I've been hard at work updating my website. Just typing the phrase is frustrating! It seems like every time I turn around, I'm having to make major changes again. I update, fix, rewrite, swap in better photos, and then I breathe a sigh of relief. Done at last! And then the next thing I know, the whole thing is out of date again, not matching what I'm doing, what I'm offering, or even who I feel like I am anymore. Up to now, I've been thinking that it's because I'm no good at designing websites (and lets be real, I would definitely be better served by leaving this to a pro; I hope I can afford to soon!).

But today, I had an insight that's invited me to flip my perspective on this problem as well:

I was taking a bag of clothes with me to the Farmers Market to drop off at the textile recycling tent. I had my route all mapped out: clothing drop-off at 17th street, then up to 18th street to check for on-sale halloween candy, and pick up cash at the atm, then back down to the Farmer's market. I got to 17th and...no textile recycling tent! Where could they be? They were here last week! I stood there, awkwardly gripping my big bag of clothes, and desperately trying to keep my tote bag on my shoulder, feeling utterly lost. My whole plan was down the drain!  Thankfully, there was an alternative: I could carry the clothes down to 14th and 5th and drop them at the Goodwill there. But that was four blocks out of my way!

I set off in that direction, feeling very annoyed. I do not like my well-laid plans going awry. I took some deep breaths, and reminded myself that the discomfort I was feeling was just my brain not wanting to accept that things were different from how I had wanted them to be. Something about the way I phrased it reminded me of a definition of humor: the difference between what you expect, and what you get. It seemed like if I could shift my perspective just a hair, I could see the humor of the situation, and feel amused instead of frustrated.

Spoiler alert, I wasn't able to make that shift, though the attempt was interesting. But when I got back to thinking about my website, and what I still needed to complete the updates (birth ball photo shoot, anyone?), it occurred to me that maybe the problem wasn't that I had to keep updating it, but my expectation that I shouldn't have to. If my website stopped needing updating, didn't that just mean that I had stopped changing? Growing? Evolving? Allowing myself to constantly grow, change, and evolve is at the bedrock of who I am, and who I want to be. Why would I be frustrated by the fact that my career progress has never stagnated for any appreciable amount of  time??

Change is good! Not always easy, but good. Keep any eye out on Facebook, instagram, tumblr, twitter, and my e-mail list for the launch of, actually, TWO freshly updated websites. The hustle is too big for one, y'all.

Oh, it's only fair that I leave you with the end of the story: turns out the textile recycling tent WAS there, just a few spots down from its usual place. So, if I had literally shifted my perspective about ten feet over, I wouldn't have had to walk those four extra blocks at all! Don't get stuck in a place, or a mindset. It will not serve you!!

How are you making space for worthwhile shifts in your life? How could you be?

Live Omily,
~em