I was taking a class earlier today and learning about nutrients in food. One of the things that was taught was that our fruits and vegetables today have 80-90% less nutrients in them than our produce from 100 years ago. Think about that for a second. 80-90% less than what we used to have. On top of that, our consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables has dropped dramatically as we have replaced these items with processed carbohydrates and saturated fats from the boxed, canned and frozen food isles of the grocery store - not to mention the countless miles of fast food lines upon which we drive through.
The reasons for this depletion are many - hybridization, mass farming, usage of synthetic fertilizers, time to market, pollution and poor soil conditions to name a few. But the reasons are not what I focused on today after hearing this statistic. What I really focused on was how incredibly symbolic this was of the state of our society.
We have become such an instant gratification human race that it seems to have infected every aspect of our lives. Technology has been the cornerstone from the time man discovered fire -- to allow us to live life more comfortably. The industrial revolution brought us cars and washing machines and dishwashers and assembly lines. Ways to do things quicker and easier and cheaper so that we have more time to do what we want to do, versus what we have to do. And what happens when we mass produce items to include our food supply? Mass production leads to a dilution of quality. And over time, we are subsisting on watered down versions of everything. The old adage of "they don't make it like they used to" rings true on so many levels.
We now live in a society where at the "one-click" of an Amazon button, we have packages instantly on our doorstep (delivered by drones now in some areas). We can pick up our phones and talk to someone for free on a video chat in Japan. Just about anything we want, when we want it has become available to us for a relatively low price. Everything has gotten easier everywhere.
And yet. Life is harder now than ever.
We have gotten so used to the easy buttons that surround our everyday life that we have forgotten what it is like to put in the hard work. And as our bodies have atrophied from malnourishment, our spiritual lives have also withered on the vine. It has gotten too hard to dig down within ourselves and feel the pain that is needed to grow. It has gotten too messy to have faith based conversations with loved ones because it ends in a fight or a "defriending" from social media. We hide in our rooms with the blue light of our phones or Netflix flashing pictures to keep us preoccupied and away from the darkness that would inevitably consume us.
I choose to challenge myself in these upcoming months to really do some meditation on this. To learn how to better get back to my roots. To feel the soil in my hands as I plant new seeds. It is time we learn how to renourish not just our bodies, but our minds and our souls. And there is no better time like today.