Thoughts on Raisins

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At first thought, a raisin seems mostly like a forgettable, diminutive sort of food, and for most of the world that’s probably true. Interestingly though, there is an entire industry surrounding their cultivation that has been in existence for decades, with years upon years of marketing ploys and product placements touting their simplistic deliciousness. Behind the simple boxes of what we see in grocery stores exists acres and acres of vineyards that are regularly farmed by what is now merely a small arsenal of workers operating heavy, specialized machinery, however, the job used to be much painstaking and hands on. This tiny, somewhat average little snack is the product of countless systems working together to produce a product that yields a profit, and this process is not unlike the countless other items one can find in the grocery store that are taken for granted.

It is astounding to me how a raisin could have such a back story and yet mean very little to me out of context, and after reviewing the videos based on raisins for our first dive into contemplative practice, I came out of it feeling more enlightened about the raisin as something to be consumed and enjoyed, but also more aware of the struggle in agriculture surrounding it’s cultivation and production as a whole, especially before the days of industrialized machinery replacing that of so many human hands. When it came time to eat the raisin, I looked forward to it and enjoyed it, probably much more than ever before. I’m not sure if that was the intended purpose of this exercise, but it certainly made it memorable.


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