Why the Friends of Food name? 

What happened to our food? Did you notice that for as long as we humans existed, food was always our best friend. Food was always good. If something wasn’t good, people didn't eat it. It wasn't food. What happened in the last century, and particularly in the last 50 years, that food became our enemy??? Now we must be constantly alert to all kinds of hidden dangers lurking in our food: Is there bacteria that want to kill us? Are there chemicals that can cause immediate reactions or long-term degenerative diseases? Is the food altered in such a way, be it during processing or in the field that it now threats our health? What will make us fat, clog our arteries or cause a host of other calamities in our lives? Watch what you eat as the enemy is hidden in our food and waiting to get you!

What happened to us and to our food?

Eating became so complicated or we became so helpless and dumb that we don't know any more what to eat. Without thoughtful, friendly and certainly pervasive guidance of nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, food scientists, governments, authors penning endless strings of books, TV gurus, and, yes, well-meaning corporate marketers we would be totally lost. We would be unable to choose among the seemingly limitless choices that allow us to satisfy our senses and food desires. One wonders how people who lived in the past could survive without such advice? How 100 or even 50 years ago they knew what to eat when deprived of the privilege of the enlightened help we have now?

How food became our enemy?

In short, food became our enemy during industrialization of our food production driven and dominated by the corporate, profit-focused interests. These also created a new branch of science; nutritionism. We all got sucked into the industrialized global food culture that governs our lives and deeply affects our health. Humans in all past generations always relied on their native cultures to know what to eat. These cultures were different in different parts of the world yet all of them sustained people and kept them in good health or at least had the potential to do so until their food environment hadn’t changed. There could be hard times when food was scarce but food didn't hurt people. Diets evolved most likely by trial and error spread over a long time in response to local conditions and food options available. But these traditional food cultures have been steadily destroyed and gradually replaced worldwide by one global industrialized food culture in which we all in the Western world are now fully immersed. This is the culture wherein food is our enemy that makes us constantly vigilant. This is also the culture that allows for the destruction of the natural environment, rapid depletion of our natural resources, changes our climate, creates permanent hunger and malnutrition for hundreds of millions, decimates farming families and land-based food production knowledge around the world and presents us with a host of other ethical questions about our food supply.

Where is this all leading us to?

What is the future of food driven by the industrialized, corporate, globalized food culture?

Since we are what we eat, what is our future?

We believe that it is the high time to think again about food as our best friend and the time to start healing our food, healing social relations built around food and, most importantly, healing and protecting our health and health of people about whom we care. This is the time to return the favour to the most important, valuable and, yes, pleasurable companion in our lives - our food. Hence the name: Friends of Food. If we want to heal ourselves, if we want to keep any optimism about our individual and collective future, we must first heal our relationship with food. That also means that we must accept and claim control over the food we eat and don't any longer trust the powers behind our industrial food system. 

Food will not change until we change first

We must change how we think about food and how we understand its role in our personal lives and in our families and in our collective lives. In other words, our food culture first needs to change first. While this may sound like an impossible task, let's accept the premise that a culture changes one person at the time. You cannot change other people's beliefs but you can change yours. Is it easy? No, it is not. It is a gradual and chaotic process that works best if stimulated by others who already are further on the path towards a new sustainable food culture and who together want to build a new sustainable food communities. Such initiatives are needed now as there is the increasing sense of urgency for all those who are deeply concerned about their personal health, state of our food and the status of our world in general.

What needs to be healed?

First of all, we all need to heal ourselves. More precisely, we need to help our bodies to heal themselves giving them what they need; first of all the right food. So many of us have health problems or must deal with health problems of their families or friends. We must realize that food overwhelmingly (some say over 80%) contributes to keeping us healthy or causing illness. What if our understanding of effect of industrial foods we have been eating in the last 50 years was dead wrong? Most of us "outsourced" our food preparation and selection responsibilities to corporate interests. Have you ever heard about industrial foods being developed with the primary goals to be healthy for the consumer? Or rather the goals were to increase food marketability, sales volumes and profits? 

To heal ourselves, and yes, to heal our societies we need first to "heal" our food. This means changing how we think about food - changing the food culture. When the food culture changes, this consequently starts healing our food system by creating alternatives to the system we have now. Only consumer money may  support sustainable alternatives and ultimately change our food system. We all can vote with our dollars and refusing to spend them on industrial foods. That is a strong vote that makes a difference. Of course, on the larger scale a change is not going to happen anytime soon but each one of us has the power to be the change agent. The change may only happen "one person at the time". That is all what we may realistically expect and hope for.

Not just our physical health and food itself but also our relationships with other people need healing. Food is and always was the bonding element of human relationships. The industrial global food regime offers us only superficial, void of any meaning fake relationships and is not capable of offering us anything else. Food is arguably the only and definitely the best platform from which healing of our society may start.  

Become a Friend of Food