Real Food and Resistance:
Real Food and Resistance is an annual conference in Bend, OR, gathering cutting edge thinkers and activists from the local food, permaculture, ancestral health, ecological restoration, and bioregional movements. We embrace a diverse, non-sectarian approach to recreating ecologically sound food sovereignty while rebuilding human scale communities in the face of global economic crisis. We recognize that the quality of our food is paramount. Our bodies are genetically adapted to thrive when we eat traditional, nutrient dense foods fresh from our local bioregions. We call this Real Food. It has become clear, both scientifically and practically, that returning to a diet of Real Food is the very cornerstone of alleviating what has been termed our “national healthcare crisis.” This conference is intended to expound upon these staggering implications.
At the same time, irresponsible financial interests continue to promote denatured foods produced by agricultural methods that are directly responsible for degrading the land base and threatening our ecological resiliency. This is unconscionable, and we choose both to speak out and act directly to alleviate this needless situation. So many of us are doing amazing things to help us all through theses troubles, and this conference is an opportunity to encourage each other by sharing our ideas, our successes, and our strength.
What is Real Food?
Real Food includes all the traditional, nutrient dense foods the human body has adapted to eat over the course of our history as a species. These foods, by nature, must be derived from sustainable ways of interacting with our environment. We advocate:
Wild Native Foods:
We advocate the restoration of Indigenous food ways. Our region has been affectionately called “Salmon Nation”, and we seek to support the health of our wild food landscapes through habitat restoration on our rivers and wild lands. We appreciate that the Indigenous peoples throughout our bioregion experienced superior health as a result of their native diets based on the four food groups: fish, four-leggeds, roots, and berries . We appreciate all species, and would especially like to see the restoration of native salmon, lamprey, and steelhead populations. We are encouraged at the compatibility of wild food ecosystems and responsible agricultural methods like Permaculture.
Grass-Based, Holistically Managed, and Truly Free Range Foods:
We recognize the unsustainability of factory farming and the cruelty of Confined Animal Feedlot Operations. We recognize the health damaging qualities of animal foods produced in non-native settings. We encourage a return to the health restoring practices of perennial grass-based pasture farming, especially for the production of raw milk, pastured eggs, and grass-only meat. These holistic practices create food as nutrient dense as that found in wild ecosystems.
Local Organic and Biodynamic Produce:
We encourage everyone we can who is growing food locally in a sustainable, soil-respecting manner. This includes our local Organic and Biodynamic farmers, home gardeners and radical homemakers, Community Supported Agriculture and Permaculture, seed savers and soil builders. We emphasize that the nutrient quality of our food is a result of healthy, living soil, free from harmful chemicals.
Why Real Food?
Politics has no authority when it comes to the needs of our physical bodies. Financial interests have both willingly and ignorantly deceived the vast majority of us as to the causes and cures of our individual and collective illnesses. Yet they have failed at burying the truth, and we are here together to reclaim our bodies, our communities, the land base, and our lives. Real Food is defined by our Human Genome, and not by official opinions. The wisdom of our bodies resonates throughout creation in infinite webs of reciprocity. Real Food is the traditional, nutrient dense cornucopia vitally dependent on the living soils, healthy rivers, and intact ecologies of our local land bases. The health of our bioregion is reflected in the health of our individual bodies. To respect our bodies is to respect our Earth, and to respect our Earth is to respect our bodies. All human cultures have known this at one time and we offer living proof that our truths are not forgotten. Industrialization has altered our food in innately problematic and needlessly destructive ways. Perceived benefits have been but short-term illusions, and the consequences are wreaking havoc at every juncture in the web of life. It’s time to wake up! We are not other than our very subsistence. We recognize food as the lynchpin of our cultures, be they rooted in the sanity of ecological reciprocity or the suicidal growth that has characterized industrial civilization. Food is the fulcrum between liberation and bondage, and as such deserves our sincere attention.
What is the Problem?
The consequences of industrial food production are becoming all too clear. Scientists have declared that both American and Canadian people are experiencing a “Health Crisis”, while ecologists recognize our Earth is experiencing a mass extinction and climate crisis due to industrial resource extraction. This includes conventional agriculture, and we are encouraged at the remediating effects of Permaculture, holistic grass farming, and wild ecosystems restoration. These methods synergistically affect our global ecosystem by directly saving and restoring species, sequestering carbon from our atmosphere, and bringing political stability through local food and resource security. Unfortunately, a number of multinational financial interests are actively reducing our biodiversity and destroying our soils in an attempt to produce short-term profits and the expense of long-term sustainability. We feel it our duty as responsible inhabitants of planet Earth to counteract this tragic shortsightedness as directly as possible. “Real Food and Resistance” is our sincere attempt to encourage and learn from each other as we make the choice to live responsible and sustainable lives. We also are not afraid to say “NO” to those profiting at the expense of others.
We recognize that most of our daily energies are recuperated by inhuman financial interests at odds with the health of our bodies and the health of our land base. It is from this clear understanding that we begin to speak of resistance. If we are to return to the sanity of life and the health of our natural minds, we cannot act in permissiveness towards the demands of the dominant culture. The wisdom of ecology and of our own biology clearly defines our values. We reject the concept that sane human cultures are in any way at odds with the full thriving of our living Earth. We must not sacrifice ourselves and we must not sacrifice the land base; truly there is no separation. When we choose to respect life and the innate wisdom encoded in our very DNA, we sink out roots deep in opposition to the domination of illusory concepts promoted by the ungrounded whims of civilization. And from here we choose to act with clear understanding and respect towards all life. Our resistance is not born from a spirit of rebellion, but from the spirit of Compassion.