I'm in the desert. The "food desert*".
I am currently in the desert, or one of them. Stranded in Phoenix, AZ on the way to San Francisco. (Okay, "stranded" is a bit severe, but you get my point.) On my way to the 2011 Fourfold Healing Conference that starts today. One of the planes I was to be on had some mechanical issues, so there was a new plane, and yes, delays. And I landed here. In Phoenix, on the way to San Francisco. I have no problem with Phoenix, or with deserts, per se. I do have a problem with what I have been experiencing, however. A food desert. I'll tell you more. I woke up today in my airline voucher room feeling stranded. Stranded between two islands...or oases. I became aware of my thought that I was between two points...two places or "oases" (yes, get the visual here)...and I am. I am between my home and my destination point. I am between my home and a conference. But it is more than that. I am lost in a desert, a food desert, between my home, where I create, serve, and eat nourishing, REAL food, and a conference where they will serve and I will eat nourishing food. (Yes, locally sourced, organic, nutrient-dense, prepared traditionally so the nutrients are available to the body. At a conference!) In between, there is not much REAL food to eat! Oh, a banana or an apple or two at the airport...I even found an organic yogurt (albeit the second ingredient was organically milled cane sugar). But that was it folks. It is a FOOD DESERT OUT HERE between these two points. And I'm in it. (Temporarily, thank God.) The scary thing is, this is "what is" for the average American, and certainly the average American traveler. Heck, even those in business class are out here with me. No REAL food to be found. Or very little. NONE on the plane and the food from the restaurant at the airport in DC gave me a racing heart, dry mouth, deep thirst, and smelly flatulence! BTW, flatulence means that your body is having difficulty digesting the food you have eaten. The smell reflects the amount of toxins your body is having to process. So if you're smelly often, you may want to review what you are eating and how your body is digesting or failing to digest your food. :))
As I said previously, I have no problem with the city I'm in. (In fact, if I had a longer layover, I'd get to see a dear cousin who lives here.) The hotel is nice, and they will do their best to serve a lovely, typical American breakfast...continental or "full". The folks with whom I am traveling, all seventeen of us sharing this unplanned stopover--will probably say it is wonderful, bountiful and delicious. But I am blessed and cursed with "eyes that see"...or just with "knowing" what REAL food is, and what our bodies need to thrive. I am HOPING for REAL BUTTER...but I have a feeling that even if I find it, all that I will be able to spread it on will be refined wheat products...no sourdough, no sprouted grains, no soaked oatmeal. I am HOPING for REAL CREAM...but that is hard to find in these days of full fat fear...if I am able to find even "half and half", bet your bottom dollar it won't be organic, it won't be from grass-fed cows, and it will be UHT (ultra-high temperature pasteurized). I KNOW I won't find any ferments...I may be able to find some plain yogurt. But again, it will be from cows raised on grain, not organic, certainly low-fat or no-fat...Perhaps I'll find some bacon or sausage--but locally sourced and nitrate free? Think again. So...what to do? Not eat? Not an option today, folks. I am living on 4 plus hours of sleep after a very choppy day of travel, with a full day and weekend ahead of me. So I have to eat something. At this point it's just "fuel for the body" to get to my final destination point...where I KNOW the food will be nourishing, whole, REAL, and truly satisfying. Until then, I'll do my best to pick and choose the best of what I am presented with. Until I am out of the desert.
The bigger question of course remains...how to populate the food desert between the two points with REAL food. With the ability to discern what is nourishing and nurturing food that will help the body thrive. And that, as you know my dear readers, is the point of all I do. On to the conference and back into my life to "teach, teach, teach!" and do my best to make the desert fertile with REAL food. For all of us.
*Note: I am borrowing a term that is usually used these days to describe urban areas where there is no fresh food to be found for sometimes miles. Yes, miles. Those "food deserts" must also be addressed, and some of the efforts of "urban agriculture" are doing so. For examples, see the city of Baltimore and San Francisco. Future Harvest offered good information about urban ag at their conference this past January.